Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

ROTW #3: Power and Coincidence

I find it an interesting series of events when something I heard or read earlier in the week and later referenced a bit further, is ultimately heard or read again in an entirely different context, with a reference in the last instance tying back to the first.  (Gads!  Did I just write that?)  My case in point:  Heart Of My Heart and I were out last Friday evening, enjoying the latest installment of the Indiana Jones adventures – Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – when it happened.


If you haven’t heard anything about Dr. Jones, you should know he is a famed archeological professor.  He traipses around the world in search of elusive antiquities, such as the Ark of the Covenant and The Holy Grail, just to name a few.  In doing so, “Indy” often times has terrifically bad run-ins with either the Nazis or Russians.  The Aryan “master race” always seems to be seeking possession of any and all historic or mythical relics believed to have supernatural powers.  These powers would allow communistic empires to rule the world.  Indy, representing the noble side in this good vs. evil struggle, works very hard while enduring much physical punishment trying to keep these magical artifacts from falling into the wrong hands.  Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself here.


One of last week’s reading assignments in Religion was the Bhagavad-Gita, a “Song of the Supreme Exalted One”.  It is a 700 verse text full of prose taken from a famous Hindu epic story in mythic time.  I was really glad we didn’t to read the Mahabharata – it was some 100.000 verses long and has a lot of names which are difficult to read or speak.  “The Gita”, as it is commonly known, is a dialogue between a great warrior named Arjuna and his charioteer, Krishna.  The place of this discourse is between battle lines of kinsmen who wait to war with one another.  The warrior, troubled about fighting with and eventually killing his brothers, cousins, teachers and friends receives counsel from Krishna, the incarnation of the god Vishnu, about duty and fulfillment of purpose.  There’s much teaching about the philosophy of Hindu existence: the cycle of life (birth, death and re-birth); the killing of the body, but the continuation of the soul, and so on. 


At one point, as Lord Krishna displays his universal form to Arjuna, he says:


          “I am time grown old,

           creating world destruction,

           set in motion

           to annihilate the worlds; ..”

              (Verse 32, Chapter 11, Bhagavad-Gita)    


After I’d finished reading The Gita, I started poking on the internet looking for any visual representation available of Krishna’s immutable form.  

Here is one image of Krishna revealing his universal form to Arjuna.  The Great Warrior kneels in reverence to this Almighty Being while battalions of soldiers stand on either side, waiting for Arjuna to blow his horn and start the battle.  This is an image of omnipotence and omniscience.  Able to see all things, in any and all directions, aware of anything and everything, capable to being all things to all people, showing the magnificence, awe and horror of a God-like entity that can bestow either saving grace and wreak utter destruction.   


Along with that I also found a reference to this verse associated with Robert Oppenheimer, the American physicist and “father of the atomic bomb”.  After observing the world’s first nuclear test in 1945, he was quoted as saying “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”. 


Toward the end of the movie, as the sinister Nazi/Russkie character in Indiana Jones beholds the awesome, other-worldly power of the Crystal Skull, she utters those same words.  “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”.  Imagine my sense of surprise and wonder hearing that.  I am taking this class at NVCC on eastern religious traditions, and in it given the chance to read The Gita (which I may have never read otherwise), only to hear it referenced soon thereafter in a very popular movie!  How cool is that?!  Maybe it’s a “god-wink” or “god-incidence.


I mentioned this in class this week to see if anyone else had caught the same thing I did from the movie.  Few had seen it; one had missed it.  My professor seemed excited to hear about this coincidence too.  When I added Indiana Jones recognized the quote, attributing it to “The Gita, sometimes known as the Hindu bible”, she quickly poo-poo’d the reference.  I hope I didn’t spoil going to the movie for her.


Power and Coincidence.  Pretty cool!