Bhagavad Gita assists Cillian Murphy prepare for Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer releases in theaters on July 21.

Yasmin Tinwala

Oppenheimer’s lead actor Cillian Murphy said he read the Bhagavad Gita to prepare for the role. “I thought it was an absolutely beautiful text, very inspiring,” he said, about the reading experience.

The movie Oppenheimer is based on the 2005 biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer titled American Prometheus. Oppenheimer was a theoretical physicist known for having researched, designed, and developed the atomic bomb during World War II.

Like Murphy, the real-life Oppenheimer had read the Bhagavad Gita as well. In a 1965 documentary on NBC, the scientist and other key figures involved in the decision to test the first atomic bomb discussed their motivations for doing so.

“We knew the world would not be the same…few people laughed…few cried…most people were silent…I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita…Vishnu is trying to persuade the prince that he should do his duty and to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, now ‘I become Death, the destroyer of worlds’,” he said in the documentary. “I think it was a consolation to him, he kind of needed it,” Murphy opined in the interview with Indian film critic and YouTuber Sucharita Tyagi.

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