Swami (Sanskrit: स्वामी svāmī [sʋaːmiː]; sometimes abbreviated sw

) in Hinduism, is an honorific title given to a male or female ascetic who has chosen the path of renunciation (sannyāsa), or has been initiated into a religious monastic order of Vaishnavas

It is used either before or after the subject’s name (usually an adopted religious name)

The meaning of the Sanskrit root of the word swami is “[he who is] one with his self” (swa stands for “self”), and can roughly be translated as “he/she who knows and is master of himself/herself”

The term is often attributed to someone who has achieved mastery of a particular yogic system or demonstrated profound devotion (bhakti) to one or more Hindu gods

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology as: Hindi svāmī ‘master, lord, prince’, used by Hindus as a term of respectful address, < Sanskrit svāmin in same senses, also the idol or temple of a god

As a direct form of address, or as a stand-in for a swami’s name, it is often rendered Swamiji (also Swami-ji or Swami Ji)

In modern Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Swami is also one of the 108 names for a sannyasi given in Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s Gaudiya Kanthahara, along with Goswami, also traditionally used as a honorific title

Swami is also the surname of the Bairagi caste in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan

In Bengali, the word (pronounced [ˈʃami]), while carrying its original meaning, also has the meaning of “husband” in another context

The word also means “husband” in Malay, in which it is spelled suami, and in Khmer, Assamese and Odiya

The Thai word for “husband”, sami (สามี) or sawami (สวามี), and the Tagalog word for “spouse”, asawa, are cognate words