Shri the Sacred name of Goddess Lakshmi
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The popularity of Lakshmi can be gauged by the fact that her sacred name Shri. Shri is written atop most documents and spoken before addressing a god, a teacher, a holy man or any revered individual. The word evokes among other things: grace, affluence, abundance, auspiciousness, authority.
When the word is spoken or written, an aura of holiness is established. Whatever follows the word is imbued with divine blessing. Married men and women are addressed as Shriman and Shrimati as they have Lakshmi’s blessings to harness the wealth of the world to support family and sustain society.
Ascetics are not addressed as Shriman as they have renounced worldly riches; unmarried men and women are not addressed as Shriman and Shrimati as they are still in preparation for the householder’s life. Just as the word ‘aum’ is associated with the mystical side of life, the word ‘shri’ is associated with the material side of existence.