Elon Musk, whose hatred for short-sellers on the stock market is the stuff of myths, has just paraphrased a quote from the Bhagavad Gita and called himself the “destroyer of shorts" on Twitter.
Taking to Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX CEO wrote, “I am become meme, Destroyer of shorts".
The tweet comes following the GameStop fiasco where a group of Redditors pulled a coup on Wall Street. Musk, a lover of Redditors and hater of short-sellers, lent his enthusiastic support, sending stonks through the roof.
But what has any of it got to do with Bhagavad Gita?
Musk’s tweet is indeed a play on a quote from the Bhagavad Gita, a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the epic Mahabharata believed to have been written in the second century BCE.
The original line is “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds" and was uttered by Lord Krishna to Prince Arjuna to persuade him to take up his duty and go to war against the Kauravas.
Bhagavad Gita is seen both as a treatise on war and peace as well as laying one of the foundations of Hindu religion.
What has the atom bomb got to do with it?
Centuries after it was written, the metaphysical quote from Bhagavad Gita took on a new meaning and became a part of pop culture internationally after the creation of the atom bomb - the ultimate weapon of war and mass destruction. The American theoretical physicist and one of the men credited to be the “father of the atomic bomb" - J. Robert Oppenheimer, uttered it upon seeing the world’s first atomic blast in 16th July, 1945, in a desert in the US State of New Mexico when during the debut test of the weapon. Upon seeing the explosion, Oppenheimer - a scholar of Sanskrit literature - said the words, “Now, I am become death, the destroyer of the worlds". As history bore witness, the test changed the course of the world politics and history after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of the same year, bringing an end to World War II and declaring the United States as one of the two superpowers of the world along with Russia (then USSR).
Why is Musk calling himself ‘Destroyer of Shorts?'
Musk, who puts out tweets about space, science, cat gifs, anime girls and often what you should support, holds a strange leeway when it comes to the stock market. A single tweet can lead to a never-seen-before surge in prices of holdings and stocks. It’s what the Internet had now coined ‘The Musk Effect.’
Recently, short-lessers lost millions of dollars after the Tesla chief added the word ‘Bitcoin’ to his Twitter bio, thus causing the liquidation of $387M in shorts. His tweets are also known to cause enormous surges in prices of holdings and stocks. He recently even tweeted a Dogecoin meme and also spoke about it in his now-viral interview on Clubhouse. His not-so-wordy tweets and meme has sent the meme-cryptocurrency Dogecoin soaring with a 25% rise. A report in cointelegraph noted that Dogecoin saw a leap from $0.04 to $0.058 and subsequently witnessed a 100% rise in its trading volumes.
Musk, who recently announced a “break" from Twitter, only to return in two days with a new Dogecoin meme, seems to be having his bit of fun. But this rendering of the iconic Bhagavad Gita line must be leaving both Oppenheimer and Vyass turning in their graves.