In Indian culture, the suffix -ji, or sometimes -jee is placed after a name as a sign of respect. When I first started attending the Hindu Temple, I would use the suffix when addressing fellow aspirants occasionally, but I would use it only on occasion of particular gratitude, response to a kindness, or in response to some knowledge that was imparted to me that I was looking for. The more I learned through our Bhagavad-Gita group, the more often these situations presented themselves, and therefore, the more I used “-ji.” I began noticing that whenever I would use the suffix in an email, the more my name would be adorned with it in response. At first it was completely flattering. But then, when I began to notice that it was or was not there, I knew I had to focus more on what “-ji” was to me. It was a way for me to express gratitude.
I have two problems. First, I must get back to using it in special circumstances, to make sure its meaning coming from me is not dulled. After all, I will always have “Namaste”, which is appropriate upon any encounter whatsoever. Tempering my -ji-ing in turn will assure that no one is -ji-ing me back out of a sense of social grace.
And secondly, somehow “Forrest-ji” just does not have the same effect and beauty as something like, let’s say “Mukunda-ji” (to use the given name of my Guru(ji) Yogananda. So I will either have to change my first name, or renew my dedication to the out-going -ji. But all in its appropriate time and place.