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! tongue

Reference: Wikipedia

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. smiling

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31 Comments

  1. Nithyasree= nithya + Shree
    nithya = always or daily
    and Shree represents respect, esteem, wisdom, light, wealth and fortune! tongue
    so now you know what Nithyashree means.

  2. Sorry for the delay in replying. Meaning of words given below are just my guesses, no proof.

    @sathya: I am not sure whether “Shree” also means friend in Sanskrit.

    @vanushree: “vanam” could mean forest, and vanashree could mean forest beauty, I think!

    @shreeparna : I am not sure of the meaning. The name may split into shree + parna. What does parna mean? I don’t know.

    @sathiya: srinivasan could mean ‘the place where sree lives’. Sri-nivas. There could be some better meaning too.

    @krupasri: ‘krupa’ means ‘compassion or mercy’. So you are a mix of compassion and fortune 🙂

  3. Thanks for such an informative post!

    Athough I’m no authority on the subject by any means (nor do I know how accurate it may be), I have found a site that may help some of you looking for the meaning of some Indian names, though it may not be as thorough as that in this blog:

    http://www.behindthename.com/

    I hope it helps.

  4. Hi,

    Please tell me the meaning of Krupasri.
    Does it make any difference in Krupasri, Krupashri, Krupashree…
    She was born on 16 Aug, 2009 at 7.02 PM

  5. You go ahead Tara, nobody’s goin to interpret nothing.
    What’s the word Im looking for “sarva …” meaning the whole world is my family. People of so called low caste are hindus too. And the least said soonest mended. And all the best in your venture. Me Im a Sudra myself belonging to the Mudaliar caste. We really should get rid of caste. Im not sayin you should like everybody but don’t delineate people, if you don’t like em fine, stick to your own, but stop calling yourself special names. It’s like a Scot calling himself me Ridley Scot, ridiculous isn’t it?

  6. Thanks so much. I am American but my role models have lived in India. For the longest time I have wanted to call my business (knitting/beading) “Shreedom” (sort of like freedom with the idea of shri.) I just built the website and decided on “shri~dom knitwear.” Then I started looking up ‘dom’ and found it means people of low caste who work at cremation grounds and weave baskets, musicians (?) I’m just wondering what does that look like to Hindus: “shri~dom,” how would someone from India interpret that?

  7. Thank you! very informative. Iwas looking out to know the meaning before giving this name for my home. Regards, Sreevalsan

  8. Srikanth,

    In your name Sri is Lakshmi devi and Kanth means Husband. So, Srikanth is Vishnu, the husband of Lakshmi devi.

    Lakshmikanth, Srikanth, Ramakanth = all refers to Vishnu, husband of Lakshmi devi.

  9. Sri is an Ariyan Title. Lot of South Indian Diravidian town names were forced to change from “Thiru” to “Sri”!!! Sri is closely associated with Vaishnavism(prays Krishna)!

    Thiruvarangam became Srirangam!

  10. My comment may be irrelevant, but thought of mentioning. “Sree” when it is used as a verb in Sanskrit, the meaning changes to “cooking” (“SreeNathi, SreeNithE”)
    As Sree mentioned, in Hindu Mythology, “Sree” represents the 3 godess namely ‘Lakshmi’ – stands for wealth, ‘Parvathi’ – Power, and ‘Saraswathi’ – Intelligence

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