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.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

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);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

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"?