'Oppenheimer' links with Supreme Science

Amar Krishna Paul *

'Oppenheimer' is the 12th successful film by Christopher Nolan. The film chronicles the events that precede and succeed the world's first nuclear test led by American theoretical physicist Julius Robert Oppenheimer for the US Army. Its code name is 'Trinity'. It has won as many as seven Oscar awards recently. The biopic film on Oppenheimer has, indeed, established a strong connection with the Supreme Science of God, i.e. the Gita.

ABOUT THE FILM : This is an epic biographical thriller movie written, directed and produced by Christopher Nolan. The movie stars Cillian Murphy in the titular role of J. Robert Oppenheimer, who is popularly known as the "Father of the Atomic Bomb."

The movie is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography titled "American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer" (2005). The film broke all box office records and earned over $82.4 million. It went on to make over $912 million worldwide in its entire theatrical run. The film is nonetheless the highest grossing biopic of all time.

'Oppenheimer' revolves around J. Robert Oppenheimer, played by Cillian Murphy. He was the scientist behind the Manhattan Project, which aimed to create an atomic bomb during World War II. Hence, the film showcases the efforts behind the creation of the atomic bomb during World War II, and how J. Robert Oppenheimer was responsible for making the Manhattan Project a success.

The first announcement of 'Oppenheimer' was made in July 2022, and the film's official trailer later dropped on December 18, 2022. The film hit theaters on July 21, 2023.

ABOUT THE GITA: The Science of God is not different from the original Gita. Lord Krishna had first spoken to the Sun about the Gita long back and, afterwards, presented the same to Arjuna just before the world's greatest battle at Kurukshetra (now in Haryana, India) which was fought between the armies of Pandavas and Kauravas. But one should not merely read the Gita like newspapers.

It should be read by heart and soul. One should clearly try to pronounce all the verses of the Gita. Later on, the reader can easily utter the tough verses by the causeless mercy of Lord Krishna, who is also known as the Most Merciful Lord towards his devotees. In fact, if you study the Gita seriously then Lord Krishna will be happy.

BIOPIC'S LINK WITH THE GITA: In an informal chat, Cillian Murphy, the lead actor of the film, said that he had read the Bhagavad Gita while preparing for 'Oppenheimer'. Mr Murphy's revelation is gaining traction on the internet since Mr Oppenheimer believed to have famously said that he was reminded of the Gita in the immediate aftermath of successfully testing the world's first atomic bomb and invoked a quote: "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."

In an interview with film critic Sucharita Tyagi, Mr Murphy was asked about Mr Oppenheimer being influenced by sacred text, to which the actor said even he was highly inspired by it.

"I did read the Bhagavad Gita in preparation, and I thought it was an absolutely beautiful text, very inspiring. I think it was a consolation to him, he kind of needed it and it provided him a lot of consolation, all his life," the actor said in the video posted by Ms Tyagi on her YouTube channel.

Historically, the first atomic explosion in the world took place in a desert in Alamogordo in the State of New Mexico, USA at 5.45 am on July 16, 1945. It changed the world. Oppenheimer was the Director of the Manhattan Proje

ct. Linguistically, Dr. Oppenheimer was proficient in Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek. Apart from being a great scientist, he was a great lover of Sanskrit. He had studied a vast number of Sanskrit books in their original form, including the Bhagavad Gita (which is part of the Bhishma Parva of the great epic Mahabharata).

When the massive nuclear blast whose blazing light covered most of the sky took place, the following words in Chapter 11 verse 12 came out spontaneously from Dr. Oppenheimer's lips: "If hundreds of thousands of suns were to rise at once into the sky, their radiance might resemble the effulgence of the Supreme Person in that universal form.

This verse is in the Chapter where Lord Krishna reveals his universal form to warrior Arjuna. On seeing this form Arjuna was terrified, and asks : "Tell me, who are you ?"

Then Lord Krishna replies: "Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to destroy all people. With the exception of you [the Paandavas], all the soldiers here on both sides will be slain." ( Chapter 11 verse 32).

Although Arjuna knew that Lord Krishna was his friend and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he was puzzled by the various forms exhibited by Krishna. Therefore he asked further about the actual mission of this devastating force. It is written in the Vedas that the Supreme Truth destroys everything.

Much later, in a television interview in 1965, Dr. Oppenheimer admitted, "We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed (immediately after the nuclear explosion), and a few people cried. Most people were silent.

I remembered the line from the Vedic Science, the Bhagavad Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade Arjuna that he should do his duty, and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form, and says: "Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds."

INDIA'S CALL: The scientist's Indian connect and roots could be related to the country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. This revelation has been made by author Nayantara Sahgal in her book Jawaharlal Nehru Civilizing A Savage World.

The author is Nehru's niece and in the book, she has written about that one phone call that was made by Oppenheimer during the time of the Non-Alignment Movement amid the battle between USA and USSR. According to Sahgal,

Oppenheimer delivered a secret message through Bengali poet and academic Amiya Chakravarti. It's also suggested that the scientist begged India to maintain its foreign policy as he didn't want any more catastrophe after Hiroshima-Nagasaki.

Moreover, another biography, titled "Homi J Bhabha: A Life" and penned by Bakhtiyar K Dadabhoy, sheds light on an unexpected aspect of Oppenheimer's life - an invitation to immigrate to India and make it his home.

As per this 723-page book, there existed a cordial and intellectual camaraderie between Oppenheimer and Homi Jehangir Bhabha, a prominent Indian physicist at that time. The two icons likely crossed paths after World War II had concluded, forging a deep friendship. Their shared interests in culture and learning boosted their bond.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The biopic film carries a few important messages. But the hidden message is that the world does not want any more atomic destruction like the bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.

The nuke powerhouses may be used in the reconstruction of the trouble-torn geo-political peripheries of the world these days. These powerhouses may be better engaged in electricity (power) generation. It will cut the large-scale use of coal and natural gas in thermal power plants. This will virtually help us to check the global warming situation to some extent.

That is, nuclear power is a clean and environment friendly base load source of electricity generation. It is available 24X7. It has a huge potential and can provide the global long term energy security in a sustainable manner.

Expansion of nuclear power capacity will help in the world's energy transition for meeting the goal of net zero through a combination of emission reduction and emission removal. This is the most urgent need of the hour.

* Amar Krishna Paul wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is a Guwahati-based writer and analyst on Current Affairs.
He can be reached at amarkrishnaghy(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on July 10 2024.

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