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Shri

 

Shri

This article is about the word. For other uses of "Sri" and "SRI", see Sri (disambiguation).
"Shree" redirects here. For the raga, see Shree (raga).


Sri (Devanagari: श्री, IAST; Śrī), also transliterated as Sree or Shri or Shree is a word of Sanskrit origin, used in the Indian subcontinent as polite form of address equivalent to the English "Mr." or "Ms." in written and spoken language, or as a title of veneration for deities (usually translated as "Holy").

Etymology

Sri has the root meaning of radiance or prosperity.[1][2]

In Sanskrit grammar, Sri has the feminine gender. It is gender-specific in Sanskrit, but the assumption that it is masculine has resulted in the titles of Shrimati (abbreviated Smt) for married women and Sushri for women (independent of marital status).

Usage

Sri (also Sree, Shri, Shree, shre, श्री) polite form of address equivalent to the English "Mr." or "Ms", possibly etymologically linked to "Sir" by the Indo-European roots.[3] The title is derived from Sanskrit श्रीमान् (śrīmān). This use may stem from the Puranic conception of prosperity.

Śrī is also frequently used as an epithet of some Hindu gods, in which case it is often translated into English as Holy. Also in language and general usage, Śrī if used by itself and not followed by any name then it refers to the supreme consciousness i.e. God.

Sri Devi (or in short Sri, another name of Lakshmi, consort of Vishnu) is the devi (goddess) of wealth according to Hindu beliefs. Among today's orthodox Vaishnavas, the English word "Shree" is a revered syllable and is used to refer to Lakshmi as the supreme goddess, while "Sri" or "Shri" is used to address humans.

Śrī is one of the names of Ganesha, the Hindu god of prosperity.

Sri may be repeated up to five times, depending on the status of the person, see Sri Sri. E.g. king Birendra of Nepal was addressed as Sri paanch (sri x5) as in Sri paanch ko sarkaar (His majesty's government).

Other current usage

Sri, along with the forms Srimati (for married women, equivalent to English Mrs.) and Susri, is often used by Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains as a respectful affix to the names of celebrated or revered persons.

There is a common practice of writing Śrī as first word centralised in line at the beginning of a document.

Another usage is as an emphatic compound (which can be used in multiple: sri sri, or sri sri sri, etc.) in princely styles, notably in Darbar Sri, Desai Shri, and Thakur Sri or Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, the founder of the social and spiritual movement Ananda Marga (the Path of Bliss).

The honorific can also be applied to objects and concepts that are widely respected, such as the Sikh religious text, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Similarly, when the Ramlila tradition of reenacting the Ramayana is referred to as an institution, the term Sri Ramlila is frequently used.

Indian Music

Its usage is common as a raga name, either as a prefix or postfix. Some examples are Shree, Bageshree, Dhanashree, Malashree, Jayantashree, Rageshree, and Shree ranjani.

Other languages

South and Southeast Asia

Śri is used in most languages of the Indian subcontinent and Seri is used in most of the languages of southeast Asia:

Place names

The honorific is incorporated into many place names. A partial list:

Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (พระนครศรีอยุธยา), formal name of city and province of Ayutthaya
Nakhon Si Thammarat (นครศรีธรรมราช) city and province
Sisaket (ศรีสะเกษ) city and province


References

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