मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Monday, September 28, 2009

At Pokhran-II, did they swear or remember Bhagavad Gita?

John Gray:

"Towards the end of his life Oppenheimer turned against the Bhagavad Gita's philosophy of detachment, which had consoled him for so many years. 'If I cannot be comforted by Vishnu's argument to Arjuna,' he declared in a speech to the Congress of Cultural Freedom, 'it is because I am too much of a Jew, much too much a Christian, far too much an American. For I believe in the meaningfulness of human history, and of our role in it, and above all of our responsibility to it.' In effect, he was reaffirming the humanist creed he had imbibed at the Ethical Culture School. But it was the lack of substance of that creed that had led him to mysticism, and when he renounced detachment he must have known he had by then forfeited any chance of meaningful action." (November 2012)

Many Indians have a soft corner for J. Robert Oppenheimer because he knew Sanskrit! Maybe it's like having Indian-Americans in Obama team.

To paraphrase Homer Simpson: Suckers!

Oppenheimer supposedly thought: "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." (verse 32, Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita) after he saw the first nuclear explosion "Trinity" on July 16, 1945.

It reads in Sanskrit as follows:

"Kalo Asmi Loka-ksaya-krit Pravardho, Lokan Samartum iha Pravattah"

Did he say it?

“...According to a colleague, however, what he actually said was, ‘Now we’re all sons-of-bitches.’…”

(Judith Flanders, Spectator, January 23, 2008)

K. Santhanam and Ashok Parthasarathi say in The Hindu on September 17 2009:

"Several inaccuracies in the claims made by BARC and in the articles published in the press, including The Hindu, on Pokhran-II need to be corrected. We have hard evidence on a purely factual basis, to inform the nation that not only was the yield of the second fusion (H-bomb) stage of the thermonuclear (TN) device tested in May 1998 was not only far below the design prediction made by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), but that it actually failed..."

So what happened at Pokhran-II?

If the test "failed", no one could have said either "Now we’re all Sons-of-Bitches" or "Kalo Asmi Loka-ksaya-krit Pravardho, Lokan Samartum iha Pravattah"!

But if this failure was hidden from the nation, aren't ordinary Indians entitled to say: "sons-of-bitches"?


Abhijeet said...

I like your posts and never miss any.

I couldn't get your email address, so writing this in a comment.

Actually, i was looking for Bhagvat Geeta copy with a good-quality Marathi translation. Could you pass on some names?

Thanks, Abhijeet (dabhijeet at gmail dot com)

Aniruddha G. Kulkarni said...

Thanks AD.

We can continue to use posts to exchange info.

The best translation remains Gitai by Vinoba Bhave but I don't find it on the market.

Other than that I don't find a single quality Marathi translation of Geeta which should have, say on left page Sanskrit original and on right Marathi translation...I mean pure translation, not interpretation.

Will update if I find any.

Chetan said...

I think you are being unfair when you say that many Indians have a soft corner for Oppenheimer just because he knew Sanskrit. There are many other reasons to like the great man and I trust the ones well-read enough to know that he knew Sanskrit to also know his other qualities. Respecting Oppenheimer is definitely not analogous to feeling proud of Indian Americans in the Obama team.

Aniruddha G. Kulkarni said...

Thanks Chetan.

There are probably number of Indians who like JRO. "Many" of them for Sanskrit...and many of them for his other qualities...

Anonymous said...

who cares about oppenhimer guy?

Unknown said...

Hello ,

I find this all very interesting , so thank you .

My one question i have is , can you say with 100% confidence that the Sanskrit translation at the top of the page is of " now , i am become death , the destroyer of worlds . " this is very important to me .

Kind regards

Craig Walker

Aniruddha G. Kulkarni said...


The first line is:

कालोऽस्मि लोक-क्षय-कृत्-प्रवृद्धो

कालोऽस्मि could mean both "Time am I" and "Death am I".

लोक-क्षय-कृत्-प्रवृद्धो means "I have grown in stature to destroy people"

(In Hindi: "मैँ काल हूँ. लोकोँ का नाश कर के मैँ बढ़ा हूँ.")

This is best I could do. I am sure this can be improved upon by experts many times over.