In Hinduism, a swami (Sanskrit: स्वामी svāmī [sʋaːmiː]), sometimes abbreviated sw., is an ascetic or yogi who has been initiated into the religious monastic order, founded by some religious teacher. It is believed to be originally used for the ones who were initiated into the Advaita Vedanta movement, started by Adi Shankara.[not in citation given]. Mostly Vedanta scholars use swami. The meaning of the Sanskrit root of the word "swami" is "one who is one with his Self" ("Swa" stands for self). The usage of this word is not just for a yogi but also used for a religious guru, with or without disciples.
The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology as
In Bengali, the word (pronounced [ˈʃami]), while carrying its original meaning, has a dual meaning of "husband". The word also means "husband" in Malay, where it is spelled "Suami". "Swami" also means "husband" in Khmer and Odiya. The Thai word for husband, sami (สามี), is also a cognate of the word swami.
- Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. London: Chambers Harrap, 2009. s.v. "Swami," OL 2527037W.
- Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Religion, page 958.
- Autobiography of an Yogi, Yogananda, Paramhamsa, Jaico Publishing House, 127, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bombay Fort Road, Bombay (Mumbai), 400 0023 (ed. 1997) p. 14
- "swami, n.". OED Online' June 2011. Oxford University Press. Accessed August 31, 2011.
- "Istilah Malaysia". Pusat Rujukan Persuratan Melayu. Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Malaysia. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
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