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And Buddha Smiles… – Amol Deshmukh

I’m a bit of a non- social person. I like to stay alone most of the times. Very rarely has the real world fascinated me, so I make my own world in my mind. Since, I am interested more in topology, natural selection, atomic physics than what is going on in Israel or of Obama, I rarely read newspapers.
Well, to the readers, one serious drawback of learning science (or particularly Biology) I would like to share is that’ you no longer have words like friends, love, nation, sympathy, co-operation,conflict, social work in your dictionary, because, after reading theories of natural selection and sexual selection you go into a state where you think you can understand everything that is going on in the world with biological species called humans.
Natural selection is the mechanism of evolution, which explains how those organisms which are adapted to the environment tend to survive and produce more offsprings compared to other organisms . Following Darwin, sexual selection is defined as ‘the effects of the struggle between the individuals of one sex, for the possession of the other sex’. As we have ‘Hamiltonian’ of the system to describe nearly everything about a mechanical system we have ‘natural selection’ and ‘sexual selection’ as the guiding principles for the understanding of human behaviour, or any animal behaviour. And then, after reading extensively about it, you try to nail down every argument related to war, co-operation, nuclear deal etc to natural selection and sexual selection. At least this happens to me.
So, last semester we had a course in humanities. Needless to say that I didn’t do well in that particular course. But the instructor was very good and she exposed us to various current social,economical, and social problems. And in one of the lectures a short film (documentary) was shown on Indian Nuclear weapon test at Pokhran. It gave some information about the First Nuclear Test which was carried out by India in 1974 at Pokhran under the code name “Smiling Buddha” (connoting the birthday of Gautama Buddha), to designate “Peaceful Nuclear Explosives”. It also showed reactions from both the sides (India and Pakistan). People were shown giving comments ranging from ‘very good’ to some saying ‘very bad’ and everybody supporting his  her argument by giving all sorts of weird reasons (and frankly speaking, I was laughing at some of the arguments) like “peace should be there, a mutual understanding should be there” and if “India has developed one, Pakistan will also do it” etc. Although they were all people separated by just an artificially produced boundaries, they wanted to kill each other.
And it suddenly struck me, that the name for the test was so perfect, that I couldn’t have imagined a better name than that. “Smiling Buddha”: Buddha, a God who has realized everything including natural and sexual selection and therefore just sitting peacefully without having anything in his mind and sometimes mischievously smiling at the illiterate person in us; in people, who are unconscious about the real reason and aim of life.
And thus sometimes, I just feel that I have really understood the smile of Buddha, because I have read many things about Natural Selection and Sexual Selection and can co-relate many things that I see or experience. But maybe the Budhha is again smiling mischievously at me (saying with a big smile “this 20 year old chap thinks that he has understood my smile”) .
And again, if you are also saying that, “this 20- year old boy presumes that he has understood everything, but he doesn’t know the reality. And the essential concept is not natural selection or sexual selection but some blah- blah-blah………” ,then may be the Buddha is again smiling at you!


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