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    Default Is this a quote from something?

    Is this a quote from something?, I feel like it is, but can't remember it's source;
    "now I become death, destroyer of worlds"
    and if it isn't, could there be some quote similar to it that I'm thinking of?
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Togath View Post
    Is this a quote from something?, I feel like it is, but can't remember it's source;
    "now I become death, destroyer of worlds"
    and if it isn't, could there be some quote similar to it that I'm thinking of?
    It's from the Bhagavadgita, and was quoted by Oppenheimer when the first test atomic bomb was detonated.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Ah, so that's why it seemed like there was more then one connection. Neat.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    It's also something one of the characters in Baldur's Gate says

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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Just read the wiki on Oppenheimer. It doesn't have a happy ending. =/

    @V: Yup, you're right. It's because of the way the original phrase is translated.
    Last edited by The Succubus; 2012-11-14 at 07:15 AM.

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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    I could swear it was "I am become death" instead of "now I become death"

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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Asta Kask View Post
    It's from the Bhagavadgita, and was quoted by Oppenheimer when the first test atomic bomb was detonated.
    Actually, it's just Oppenheimer. The Bhagavad-Gita reads "I am become time, shatterer of worlds." And either way, it's "I am become."

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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThiagoMartell View Post
    I could swear it was "I am become death" instead of "now I become death"
    Translated text often has issues when it comes to quotation. Hindi languages are not based off the language tree that evolved in Europe. So that makes translation far less literal and significantly more interpretative.


    <<EDIT>> So to that end, Keep in mind that there is often many versions of texts when they are translated, and quite often these versions can be quite different from each other.

    But as a Historical note: in the time frame that the A Bomb was tested, the Gita was of intrest due to the loss in faith of European philosophy due to world war one. To sum it up in one sentence the Europeans before that had viewed them self as the height of civilization And they could not understand how they had fallen that badly. That lead to a searching of colonised world for wisdom. The Gita was one of many works that became popular. BTW this led to some barrister from India who was being educated in England to find his own holy text.
    Last edited by scurv; 2012-11-14 at 07:50 AM. Reason: I am a dummy
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Pretty sure its used all over the place now. RedvsBlue used it in one of their episodes.

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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Quote Originally Posted by scurv View Post
    Translated text often has issues when it comes to quotation. Hindi languages are not based off the language tree that evolved in Europe. So that makes translation far less literal and significantly more interpretative.
    The Bhagavad-Gita was written in Sanskrit which is an Indo-European language. About half of the Indian languages are Indo-European, the rest are mainly Dravidian.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Quote Originally Posted by nedz View Post
    The Bhagavad-Gita was written in Sanskrit which is an Indo-European language. About half of the Indian languages are Indo-European, the rest are mainly Dravidian.
    To put this in terms of family blood, Sanskrit is our 4th cousin. At the begining of most translations of the Gita you will find a disclaimer about translation.

    To call English and Sanskrit Indo-European languages, Is to say that horses and dogs are both quadrupedal. But if ease of translation is your experance, Could you please give this student of history and world theology your sources?
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Quote Originally Posted by scurv View Post
    To put this in terms of family blood, Sanskrit is our 4th cousin. At the begining of most translations of the Gita you will find a disclaimer about translation.

    To call English and Sanskrit Indo-European languages, Is to say that horses and dogs are both quadrupedal. But if ease of translation is your experance, Could you please give this student of history and world theology your sources?
    I'm not claiming that translation is easy, but merely that they are from the same language family: Indo-European. This is extensively attested, in fact it was the study of Sanskrit which revealed the existence of the Indo-European family. A simple web search will reveal copious sources.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Sanskrit is in fact very closely related to European languages. It's more similar to German than say Hungarian or Estonian. English of course stands out because it's a horribly mangled wreck of a Germanic language that lost most of it's vocabulary and pretty much all of it's grammar.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    You mean a beautifully mangled wreck, of course.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Beautiful as cave men paintings, yes.

    Here's a translation by an Indian scholar, whose sanskrit is probably a lot better than that of 19th century Englishmen.

    The Supreme Lord said: I am death, the mighty destroyer of the world. I have come here to destroy all these people. Even without your participation in the war, all the warriors standing arrayed in the opposing armies shall cease to exist. Therefore, you get up and attain glory. Conquer your enemies, and enjoy a prosperous kingdom. All these warriors have already been destroyed by Me. You are only My instrument, O Arjun. Kill all these great warriors who are already killed by Me. Do not fear. You will certainly conquer the enemies in the battle; therefore, fight!
    http://www.gita4free.com/english_completegita11.html

    The entire scene is at the beginning of the ultimate showdown of the massive Mahabarata epos, with both armies in place and everyone waiting for someone to give the signal to charge. And one of the commanders of the heroes is on his chariot in the first line, together with his friend Krishna, who is an avatar of the god Vishnu. And in that moment he gets doubt if it's really the right thing to have this massive battle to get back the throne that belongs to his older brother and that they might just let their cousin keep it and prevent the millions of death. Four million soldiers slaughtering each other just because his brother is the rightful king doesn't look like such a great idea now that half of his family is standing next to him and the other half in front of them.
    And then Krishna uses his divine powers to halt time and have a deep and long talk with the prince about destiny, duty, and the order of the universe. And during that he sometimes assumed different divine forms, like Shiva, the god of endings, resolutions, closure, and so on, which makes him also the god of death and destruction. In a cyclic view of the universe, things must end before something new can begin, and this is represented in Shiva, the destroyer of worlds. Technically Shiva and Vishnu are searate gods, but in some interpretations they are just the aspects of Ending and Maintaining of the supreme divinity, with Brahma being the aspect of Beginning. And with "I am death", he simply says that he know is in the form of Shiva, which is just one manifestation of the ultimate divinity that he always is.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    I hate it when people are arguing about two diffrent points on the same topic. and are not actualy disagreeing with each other.

    First, yes the languages are related, But they are not as related as say English is to french, German or Spanish. But they are nonetheless related.

    Now that being said, When a works is translated Its original full context and meaning is distorted by both the language difference and the understanding of the translator Not to mention their bias, If you wish a fun study of that you can look at older vs more recent translations of the Egyptian book of the dead.

    Add to this that the Gita is a poetic Saga, That onto its self adds layers of meaning and context that is difficult to render into language in the first place, Problematic to read to a native speaker who may be more then a few decades older then the work

    And much of that is lost or convoluted when it is translated. Not to mention the loss of cultural context.

    As an example of the difficulties with language translation and linguistic shift. Here is something from american tv a few decades ago, The lyrics to the flintstones.

    http://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthem...neslyrics.html

    When you're with the Flintstones
    you'll have a yabba dabba doo time.
    A dabba doo time.
    You'll have a gay old time.

    source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/

    As an example of the last line. It shows one word with layers of meaning and cultural context that would take several lines of text to translate. Not to mention biased subjective calls based on the personal, political, religious, financial, and educational situation of the translator.

    Imagine if this is being read a thousand years from now in a culture that is trying to suppress natural breeding.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Quote Originally Posted by scurv View Post
    First, yes the languages are related, But they are not as related as say English is to french, German or Spanish. But they are nonetheless related.
    Nitpick - only because Indo-Iranian split from common root further up, they are still essentially the same language, just differentiated over time.

    As an example of the last line. It shows one word with layers of meaning and cultural context that would take several lines of text to translate. Not to mention biased subjective calls based on the personal, political, religious, financial, and educational situation of the translator.

    Imagine if this is being read a thousand years from now in a culture that is trying to suppress natural breeding.
    Though, giving an example from modern times is a bit unfair - we're seeing much more rapid cultural and social shifts than ever before. Languages before then evolved much slower, to the point traveller in time from, say, one end of Egyptian Kingdom to the other could understand people despite wast gulf of 1400 years dividing them.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    As opposed to, say, medieval England where one shire might have trouble understanding someone from the next shire over
    I strongly suspect that your claim about ancient languages evolving slower is erroneous. Isolation, I believe, is what drives language change, especially when you're comparing between languages, and we've never been less isolated.

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    Huh. My understanding is isolation prevents language change. Wasn't Iceland mostly isolated for centuries, and as a result their language stayed about the same for as long?

    Let's see...Wiki, Wiki, Wiki...Icelandic Language...History of Icelandic, naturally...hmm.
    Though Icelandic is considered more archaic than other living Germanic languages, the language has nevertheless been subject to some important changes. The pronunciation, for instance, changed considerably between the 12th and 16th centuries, especially that of vowels.

    Nevertheless, written Icelandic has changed relatively little since the 13th century. As a result of this, and of the similarity between the modern and ancient grammar, modern speakers can still understand, more or less, the original sagas and Eddas that were written some 800 years ago. This ability is sometimes mildly overstated by Icelanders themselves, most of whom actually read the Sagas with updated modern spelling and footnotes—though otherwise intact.
    Compared to other Scandinavian and Germanic languages (with the partial exception of Faroese and German), Icelandic certainly remained at an earlier evolutionary stage in terms of its morphology, but this should not imply that the language did not change; the phonological developments of the language from the ancient to the modern language are enormous.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Serpentine View Post
    I strongly suspect that your claim about ancient languages evolving slower is erroneous. Isolation, I believe, is what drives language change, especially when you're comparing between languages, and we've never been less isolated.
    Oh, please do read a bit on that, not suspect

    In short, Egyptian writing, and by extension language, though we're not sure if exact pronunciation, too, remained largely unchanged from Proto-Dynastic Period (3200 BCE) to Greko-Roman domination (600 BCE) but remained in use till 300 CE, that is, only thirty five times longer than the whole history of the state of Australia

    And that is Hieratic alone, we're not sure about Hieroglyphs but if anything they cover even longer time span, and we know at least priests were able to read early ones in very late period. Greek is similarly ancient, if only we were to consider it outlasted four or five whole writing systems, despite being read and understood by people through millennia, in fact, until 20th century being able to read the same old Greek works was a point of pride and mark of good education.

    What you describe is villages full of illiterate shepherds in rough terrain losing contact with each other, any state that had writing used as a medium of understanding kept its language in check even if over time people pronounced some letters differently, like in Icelandic example above.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    It's a bit more complex I suspect.

    Written and spoken languages are not the same thing.

    Look at China — there is a written language which exists over the whole country, and yet each region speaks a different one.

    Look at Western Europe. Under the Romans, everyone spoke Latin; but over time these have diverged into the various Romance languages.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Quote Originally Posted by nedz View Post
    Written and spoken languages are not the same thing.

    Look at China — there is a written language which exists over the whole country, and yet each region speaks a different one.
    Yes, I was considering to give that example, but usually, when languages differentiate to the point the speakers can no longer understand each other, they are usually given different names, like Cantonese, Wu, or Mandarin.

    When it's one language that changes over time, we have, say, Proto-Greek, Mycenaean, Ancient Greek, Modern Greek (each of which lasted centuries, even millenia...). Though, it's not the case with Ancient Egyptian IIRC, scientists at best divide it into literary periods, like Middle or Late Egyptian, it still being the same, though slowly changing language - and these periods lasted longer than the whole of Western civilization (counted from post Fall resurgence) without language changing much.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
    Yes, I was considering to give that example, but usually, when languages differentiate to the point the speakers can no longer understand each other, they are usually given different names, like Cantonese, Wu, or Mandarin.

    When it's one language that changes over time, we have, say, Proto-Greek, Mycenaean, Ancient Greek, Modern Greek (each of which lasted centuries, even millenia...). Though, it's not the case with Ancient Egyptian IIRC, scientists at best divide it into literary periods, like Middle or Late Egyptian, it still being the same, though slowly changing language - and these periods lasted longer than the whole of Western civilization (counted from post Fall resurgence) without language changing much.
    Usually, but not always, Arabic being the key example of a group of languages bearing the same name despite being unintelligible to one another.


    As for Ancient Egyptian, no one really knows how it sounded when spoken, which likely changed over the course of history due to foreign conquest and invasions. But a written language changes much slower than a spoken tongue, mostly because an inscription lasts a lot longer than the spoken word. The reason the Egyptian Priests could read the old inscriptions in the late period was that they were still using the same symbols and had preserved them as they considered them sacred. They used other scripts for day to day purposes.
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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff the Green View Post
    Actually, it's just Oppenheimer. The Bhagavad-Gita reads "I am become time, shatterer of worlds." And either way, it's "I am become."
    So, is time and death the same word (or concept) in the Bhagavad-Gita? Even if it isn't, it's still a neat idea.

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    Default Re: Is this a quote from something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Elemental View Post
    As for Ancient Egyptian, no one really knows how it sounded when spoken, which likely changed over the course of history due to foreign conquest and invasions.
    Yes, I admitted as much (though, in 3500 years Egypt was seriously conquered... 5 times, IIRC? With 3 ending with invaders being simply assimilated? They were the ones doing conquering for most of that, after all).

    They used other scripts for day to day purposes.
    Yes, that's why I didn't gave Hieroglyphs as example, which would give us absurd timescales, but Demotic/Hieratic everyday usage scripts.
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