Re: [INDOLOGY] Gāyatrī and Scifi

Antonia Ruppel rhododaktylos at
Sat Apr 4 20:13:29 UTC 2020

Dear Michael,

There are various bits of Sanskrit throughout Galactica - at the end of the
mini-series, Elosha chants the 'asato mā sadgamaya' (helpfully subtitled as
'priestess chanting in foreign language':-)); the surname of Roslin's aid
Billy is Keikeya (close enough to Kaikeya to make me think:-)); Roslin's
medicine is kamala extract - and so on.

I've long been wondering how this made it into the series - so far to no
avail. Ron Moore, the creator of this Galactica remake, was a Cornellian,
and Cornell has long had a fairly solid Sanskrit tradition - but beyond
that I have no idea. If anyone on the List can contribute to this, I'd be
most grateful!

(And for what it's worth, I hear the intro as svaḥ, over two notes, rather
than svāhā.)

All the best,
     Antonia (outside the US, hence syfy's generosity does not reach me:-(!)

On Sat, 4 Apr 2020 at 22:01, Witzel, Michael via INDOLOGY <
indology at> wrote:

> Dear All,
> We have been talking about the Gāyatrī a lot.
> As it is the weekend, for your amusement:
> The Scifi TV channel is streaming (free) all 50+ episodes of their old
> "Battleship Galactica" series now:
>  (
> Did anyone notice that the theme song of each episode is the Gāyatrī:
> "oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svāhā(!).  Tat savitur … pracodayāt"
> Cheers!
> Michael
> Michael Witzel
> Wales Prof. of Sanskrit, Dept. of South Asian Studies, 1 Bow
> Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
> ph. 1 - 617 496 2990
> witzel at
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Dr Antonia Ruppel

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