Meaning of Sree / Sri / Shree / Shri
While analyzing the web server log of ananthapuri.com, I observed that someone was looking for the meaning of Sree. Though the person would not have got any meaningful answer from the site, it triggered me to write this blog explaining it.
Short form of my name is Sree. Sree is the short name for all the Indian / Hindu names starting with Sree, like Sreekant, Sreekanta, Sreekandan, Sreedevi, Sreevidya, Sreenivas, Sreelakshmi, etc.. So what does that Sree mean?
Typically, Sree or Shree or Sri or Shri is a honorific prefixed with the Indian / Hindu title of respect and esteem. It is an Indian title applied to people and Hindu gods in various languages, derived from Sanskrit.
In Hinduism, Sri (commonly Lakshmi) is the consort of Vishnu. Lakshmi or Laxmi is primarily the goddess of wealth, light, wisdom and fortune, as well as luck, beauty and fertility.
Now you know who I am! Sree represents respect, esteem, wisdom, light, wealth and fortune!
Now, are you wondering what does my full first name, Sreekandakumar, mean? hm… My first name can be split into three parts! Sreekandakumar = Sree + kanda + kumar. You know what Sree means. Kandam in Sanskrit or Malayalam means neck. Kumar means prince or youth. Sree + kanda is Sreekanda. Sreekanda is Lord Shiva (Siva). Lord Shiva’s neck is blue in color. There is a story behind this name.
Lord Shiva had swallowed the Kalakooda poison discharged by Vasuki during the churning of the Palazhi for the Amrutham. The poison could have destroyed the whole world. Lord Shiva drank the poison. The poison got stuck in his neck. He did not die. That is why his neck is blue (neela) in color and he got the name Neelakanta or Neelakandan. For the same reason he is called Sreekandan, because Shiva’s neck protects the whole world from the poison.
We have a temple here in Thiruvananthapuram named Sreekanteswaram Temple, Lord Shiva is the deity there.
Now, my last name, Pillai is a popular Hindu surname or title of Southern Kerala and Tamilnadu. Among the Nairs of Kerala, Pillai is a title of nobility given by the King to senior military officers who fought for the kingdom. A major example is of the Ettuveetil Pillamar of Travancore the eight Pillai families who were great feudal Lords.
Quoting from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
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