Buddhist army - Ryan Devine Section 103 What does Oppenheimer have to do with Jet Li's Hero and what does either of them have to do with Buddhism J

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Ryan Devine Section 103 What does Oppenheimer have to do with Jet Li’s Hero, and what does either of them have to do with Buddhism? J. Robert Oppenheimer, often called the “father of the bomb,” had a deep and lasting appreciation of the Bhagavad-Gita . Today’s history books often state that, upon witnessing the first nuclear weapon test in the barren desert of New Mexico, Oppenheimer quoted a passage from the Gita in which Vishnu appears to prince Arjuna in his “cosmic” form and says “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” This is in fact incorrect – after the test, Oppenheimer exclaimed merely “It worked!” The significance, however, of the passage was not lost on him. After the Nagasaki bomb detonation, that very passage came to his mind, as he said in the 1965 documentary film The Decision to Drop the Bomb . “What,” you may ask, “does this have to do with the possibility of a Buddhist military?” And in fact, such a question would not be without merit, for so far nothing I’ve said directly connects to Buddhist tradition. However, there is indeed a connection, for Buddhism developed in a religious climate of Indian traditions now called Hinduism, and the Buddha himself was not one to denigrate Hindu gods. In fact, a special Buddhist
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course BUDDHISM 50 taught by Professor Don'tremember during the Spring '07 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Buddhist army - Ryan Devine Section 103 What does Oppenheimer have to do with Jet Li's Hero and what does either of them have to do with Buddhism J

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