Though I did not grow up in Indian culture nor am I of Indian ancestry, I try to be respectful and even protective of the culture which I have grown a little closer to over the last few years. I may fail at this from time to time, even on this blog. But I try.
The word “Sri” is an honorific preceding the name of a Hindu Holy person, a diety or scripture. Definitions translated into English range from “splendor”, “majesty”, etc. Unfortunately in the West, certain Eastern practices’ meanings are often missed. For instance, I once read that “Sri” was the Indian equivalent of “Mister.”
Not to make a comparison with the West, because that is what got us into the mess that made this post necessary to begin with, but in the West even a Christian priest is called “father.” And being a priest does not require Self-realization, but only Seminary training and a license. The priesthood CAN be but a career, though this is generally not the case. Doesn’t a self-realized soul in one’s presence warrant as much?
Maybe it is because the word “Sri” appears like a misspelling of “Sir” that Westerners miss the heft of its meaning. When I call somebody “Sir” often I have never met them or spoken to them before. I am generally not referring to their splendor and/or majesty. However, as Brahman dwells within all sentient beings, so does splendor and majesty.
So my “Sir” can mean “Sri”, but according to popular usage of the terms, “Sri” cannot mean “Sir.”