When most people think of the Buddha, they think of a peaceful man who has achieved Enlightenment who follows the Middle Way. Buddha does not hurt anything or anyone. And a Smiling Buddha? Even better!
However, the Indian government did not use this phrase in that way in the 1970s. It was, in fact, used as the code name of perhaps the least peaceful, most harmful scientific test possible – the test of a nuclear bomb. That’s right! On May 18, 1974, the Indian government held their first successful test of a nuclear weapon and called it “Smiling Buddha.”