[INDOLOGY] Information about gaviṣṭi

Harry Spier vasishtha.spier at gmail.com
Wed Dec 28 19:08:26 UTC 2022

Searching the copy of the archives I made this is what I found:
> On Sunday, April 5, 2020, 2:55 PM, Robert Goldman <rpg at berkeley.edu>
> wrote:
> There is, of course Roger Zelazny?s 1967 Scifi novel, *Lord of Light *and,
> perhaps tangentially, there is the 2016 sci-fi film ?Arrival?in which  the
> actress Amy Adams plays an expert linguist and translator, Louise, who,
> because of her earlier assistance to the military with a translation from
> Farsi, is recruited by an army colonel to decipher the language of some
> extra-terrestrial visitors. When asked about other experts who might help,
> she says of a colleague at Berkeley, ?Ask him the Sanskrit word for ?war,?
> and its translation.? When the colonel reappears, he says the other
> linguist said ?gavisti? means ?an argument,? whereas Louise translates the
> same word as ?a desire for more cows.?
> Bes to all. Be safe Stay well.
> Dr. R. P.  Goldman
> Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor in South
> and Southeast Asian Studies
> Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies MC # 2540
> The University of California at Berkeley
> Berkeley, CA 94720-2540
> Tel: 510-642-4089
> Fax: 510-642-2409

>From camillo.formigatti at bodleian.ox.ac.uk  Mon Apr  6 17:04:41 2020
From: camillo.formigatti at bodleian.ox.ac.uk (Camillo Formigatti)
Date: Mon, 06 Apr 20 17:04:41 +0000
Subject: =?utf-8?Q?Re:_[INDOLOGY]_G=C4=81yatr=C4=AB_and_Scifi?=
In-Reply-To: <9FBB5C68-30A0-4F62-9C5D-A3CEE48367CE at berkeley.edu>
Message-ID: <
LO2P265MB03045F9EBAF2374F8C00761C8EC20 at LO2P265MB0304.GBRP265.PROD.OUTLOOK.COM

Strictly speaking, as Antonia pointed out already, yuddha and yudh mean
both "battle" and not "war", unless we'd like to take them as a synecdoche,
so I don't think they apply in the case of the scene in Arrival. When I
watched it, my first impression of the scene in which the linguist Louise
Banks says that gavisti means desire for cows was that she was trying to
make precisely the point that Antonia made in her tweet. I don't think the
meaning of the whole scene is that if you know the Sanskrit word for war
you are a better linguist, it is more about how you should think about
language. On the other hand, I might be reading too much into it.
Sincerely yours,
Simon Moon

Harry Spier

On Wed, Dec 28, 2022 at 12:00 PM Dominik Wujastyk via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> 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.
> Best,
> Dominik
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