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Shree in Devanagari script used for Sanskrit

Sri, (/ʃr/;[1] Devanagari: श्री, IAST: Śrī [ʃɹiː, ɕɹiː]), also transliterated as Shri or Sree or Shree, is an Indian word denoting wealth and prosperity, primarily used as a honorific.

In Devanagari script for Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi and other languages, the word ⟨श्री⟩ is combination of three sounds: श् (ś), र्(r) and ई (ī, long i). There are two conventions in India to transliterate the syllable श (IAST: Śa) (i.e. श् (ś) with inherent vowel अ (a); श् (ś) + अ (a)) to English. Some uses the convention of Sa for transcribing श as in Sri Lanka and Srinagar while others use the convention of Sha for transcribing श as in Shimla and Shimoga. Neither Sa nor Sha in English could not actually reflect the pronunciation of श in Sanskrit and other Indian languages. Similarly, री (rī; र् + ई) is also transliterated to English in two different ways as ri and ree. Hence, in English, the spelling of this word श्री varies from Sri to Shree through Sree and Shri. Whatever be the transliteration, the pronunciation is the same. Sanskrit is written in many Indian scripts as well, in which case there are corresponding letters which have the exact same values as the Devanagari, so the Sanskrit pronunciation remains the same regardless of script.

The word is widely used in South and Southeast Asian languages such as Indonesian, Javanese, Balinese, Sinhala, Thai, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam and Malay. It is transliterated as Sri, Sree, Shri, Sree, Si, or Seri based on the local convention for transliteration.

Hindus use a popular "yantra", or mystical diagram, called Shri Yantra, to worship the goddess of wealth. The term is also used in Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia as a polite form of address equivalent to the English "Mr." or "Ms." in written and spoken language, but also as a title of veneration for deities; for example, the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, is also known as Sree.



Monier-Williams Dictionary gives the meaning of the root verb śrī as "to cook, boil, to burn, diffuse light “, but as a feminine abstract noun, it has received a general meaning of "grace, splendour, beauty; wealth, affluence, prosperity".[2][3]

The word śrī may also be used as an adjective in Sanskrit, which is the origin of the modern use of shri as a title. From the noun, is derived the Sanskrit adjective “śrīmat” (śrimān in the masculine nominative singular, śrīmatī in the feminine), by adding the suffix indicating possession, literally “radiance-having” (person, god, etc). This is used in modern vernacular as form of address Shrimati (abbreviated Smt) for married women, while Sushri, (with “su”, “good”, added to the beginning), can be used for women in general (regardless of marital status).


Sri is also the avatar of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth.

Shri is a polite form of address equivalent to the English "Mr." or "Ms.".[4]

Shri 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, Shri, if used by itself and not followed by any name, refers to the supreme consciousness, i.e. God.

Shri Devi (or in short Shri, 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.

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

Shri is also used as a title of the Hindu deities Rama, Krishna, Saraswati, Radha (used as Shrimati Radharani), and sometimes Durga.


Shri may be repeated depending on the status of the person.


Sridevi is a form of Lakshmi. She killed Demon Jambasura.

Other current usageEdit

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

During the Vidyāraṃbhaṃ ceremony, the mantra "Om hari shri ganapataye namah" is written in sand or in a tray of rice grains by a child, under the supervision of a Guru or Priest.

Another usage is as an emphatic compound (which can be used several times: shri shri, or shri shri shri, 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 Shri Guru Granth Sahib. Similarly, when the Ramlila tradition of reenacting the Ramayana is referred to as an institution, the term Shri Ramlila is frequently used.

Indian musicEdit

The use of the term is common in the names of ragas (musical motifs), either as a prefix or postfix. Some examples are Shree, Bageshree, Dhanashree, Malashree, Jayantashree, Rageshree, and Shree ranjani.

Other languagesEdit

South and Southeast AsiaEdit

Language/Script Sri written as Notes
Assamese শ্রী
Bengali শ্রী
Burmese သီရိ (thiri) See Tamil below.
Filipino Sri Formerly used as an honorific title for rulers in old Indianized pre-Hispanic kingdoms and rajahnates in the Philippines, such as Sri Lumay of the Rajahnate of Cebu or Sri Bata Shaja of the Rajahnate of Butuan.
Gujarati શ્રી
Indonesian Sri Often used as a title of veneration; however "Sri" is also the name of the ancient Javan rice goddess Dewi Sri. It is also used as a royal title such as "Sri Bhaginda", etc. "Sri" can also be used as part of a proper name, usually by Javanese people, such as "Sri Rahayu", "Ibu Sri" (Mrs. Sri), "Sri Agung", "Sri Rahayu", "Sri Padma Kenchana", etc.
Javanese ꦱꦿꦶ (sri) alternatively written as ꦯꦿꦶ or ꦯꦿꦷ Often used to address royal or venerated figures, such as "Sri Bhaginda" (equivalent to "your majesty), and for names of deities, such as the ancient Javan rice goddess Dewi Sri. In modern Javanese, it is a common part of proper names, eg. the name of former Indonesian finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati. "Sri" is also used as a name for things other than people, such as the Indonesian bus companies "Sri Rahayu" and "Sri Padma Kenchana".
Kannada ಶ್ರೀ
Khmer ស្រី (Srey) and សេរី (Serey)
Lao ສີ (Si) and ສຣີ (Sri)
Malay سري (Seri) Used for honorific titles in Malay kingdoms and sultanates. This includes the honorific title for the Sultan of Brunei: Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Baginda Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.
Malayalam ശ്രീ
Odia ଶ୍ରୀ
Punjabi ਸ਼੍ਰੀ
Sinhala ශ්‍රී (Sri) also ශ්රී (Sri or "Shree") or සිරි (Siri) Meaning "resplendent", as in Sri Lanka, "Resplendent Island".
Sylheti ꠍꠤꠞꠤ (siri)
Tamil ஸ்ரீ (Shre or Shree) The Tamil equivalent Thiru is also used.
Telugu శ్రీ
Thai ศิริ (Siri) and ศรี (Sri or Si) Used in many Thai place names, as seen below.
Vietnamese/Cham Chế Vietnamese transcription of honorific name prefix used among the Cham ethnic minority.

Place namesEdit

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

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

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Sri". Collins English Dictionary.
  2. ^ Turner, Sir Ralph Lilley; Dorothy Rivers Turner (January 2006) [1962]. A comparative dictionary of the Indo-Aryan languages. London: Oxford University Press. p. 736. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2010. śhrīˊ 12708 śhrīˊ feminine ' light, beauty ' R̥gveda, ' welfare, riches ' Avestan (Iranian) Pali Prakrit sirī – feminine, Prakrit – feminine ' prosperity '; Marāṭhī – s honorific affix to names of relationship (e.g. āj̈ā – s, ājī – s) Jules Bloch La Formation de la Langue Marathe Paris 1920, page 412. – Sinhalese siri ' health, happiness ' (Wilhelm Geiger An Etymological Glossary of the Sinhalese Language Colombo 1941, page 180) a loanword from Pali <-> See addendum śrḗyas –, śrḗṣṭha – . See Addenda: śrīˊ – occurring for the first time in Addenda : śrīparṇī – .
  3. ^ Apte, Vaman Shivaram (1957–59). Revised and enlarged edition of Prin. V. S. Apte's The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary. Prasad Prakashan. p. 1575. 1 Wealth, riches, affluence, prosperity, plenty; ... -2 Royalty, majesty, royal wealth;... -3 Dignity, high position, state;... -4 Beauty, grace, splendour, lustre;... -5 Colour, aspect; ... -6 The goddess of wealth, Lak-ṣmī, the wife of Viṣṇu;... -7 Any virtue or excellence. -8 Decoration. -9 Intellect, understanding. -1 Super- human power. -11 The three objects of human existence taken collectively (धर्म, अर्थ and काम). -12 The Sarala tree. -13 The Bilva tree. -14 Cloves. -15 A lotus. -16 The twelfth digit of the moon. -17 N. of Sarasvatī, (the goddess of speech). -18 Speech. -19 Fame, glory. -2 The three Vedas (वेदत्रयी);... -m. N. of one of the six Rāgas or musical modes. -a. Splendid, radiant, adorning. (The word श्री is often used as an honorific prefix to the names of deities and eminent persons; श्रीकृष्णः, श्रीरामः, श्रिवाल्मीकिः, श्रीजयदेवः; also celebrated works, generally of a sacred character; श्रीभागवत, श्रीरामायण)&c.; it is also used as an auspicious sign at the commencement of letters, manuscripts &c
  4. ^ Howard Measures (1962). Styles of address: a manual of usage in writing and in speech. Macmillan. pp. 136, 140. Retrieved 19 January 2011.