[INDOLOGY] Information about gaviṣṭi

Robert P. GOLDMAN rpg at berkeley.edu
Wed Dec 28 18:40:38 UTC 2022

Dear Stefan,

Since  you brought up my old posting about Arrival, one  might also note, with regard to references to Sanskrit in American popular media the following:

Sanskrit’s reputation for obscurity and difficulty has also been represented in popular TV shows. For example, in an episode of CBS’ hit sitcom  The Big Bang Theory, the characters Sheldon and Amy, after mounting a frantic and misdirected search for the purpose and meaning of an obscure wedding gift, a crystal wand, they have received from another couple, respond with a thank you card which appears to be written in Devanagari. Amy tells their friends that the card is in code, in fact in Sanskrit, “but not the Sanskrit you are thinking of.”

The Big Bang Theory, “The Wedding Gift Wormhole.” Season 12, Episode 2. First aired September 27, 2018.

With regard to the legendary difficulty of learning the language, a friend once, some years back, sent me a cartoon from a Latin American publication. It shows the classic firing squad scenario in which the officer in charge of the firing detail is in conversation with the condemned man.  As I remember, the latter is saying “Mi último deseo es apprender sánscrito."

Śubhanavavarṣo vidvadbhyaḥ.

Bob Goldman
Dr. R. P.  Goldman
William and Catherine Magistretti Distinguished Professor Emeritus and
Distinguished Professor in the Graduate School
Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies MC # 2540
The University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-2540

> On Dec 28, 2022, at 9:04 AM, Stefan Baums <baums at lmu.de> wrote:
>> I recall that there was discussion here on INDOLOGY of this term
>> at the time that the film Arrival came out (in which the term
>> plays an important role). I'm sorry that the search function of
>> the INDOLOGY archives is still not working as well as it should,
>> but perhaps someone with a collection of past emails can fetch
>> the discussion.
> Bob Goldman pointed it out here:
>   https://list.indology.info/pipermail/indology/2020-April/052158.html
> All best,
> Stefan
> -- 
> Stefan Baums, Ph.D.
> Institut für Indologie und Tibetologie
> Ludwig‐Maximilians‐Universität München
> _______________________________________________
> INDOLOGY mailing list
> INDOLOGY at list.indology.info
> https://list.indology.info/mailman/listinfo/indology

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