16 July: Behold I have become the destroyer of worlds

On this day in 1945, man finally discovered and proved to himself, he had the power to make himself extinct. The first ever atomic explosion was detonated under the Manhattan Project, led by theoretical physicist, Oppenheimer, whose team included one Albert Einstein. Many of the team had been driven out of Germany by the Nazis. The Nazis who had exterminated 6m Jews, had helped create what some Arabs and Iranians would later term ‘the Jewish bomb’. Oppenheimer said years later in an interview ( http://youtu.be/ZuRvBoLu4t0 ) that upon seeing the explosion, he was reminded of the words from the Hindu Holy Scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, as the Lord in explaining to the man Arjun not to fear the cycle of eternal birth and death shows His eternal and omnipotent self, to explain, I am everywhere and forever. The quote is, ‘Behold now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds)’. The regret in Oppenheimer’s eyes as he manifested God is apparent. In an age where we think climate change is our undoing, we forget we live in a world of weapons that can instantly destroy the world many times over and we wish July 16 will not live in history as the day that saw the birth of the end of man himself.

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