Srila Sriman Swami Goswami – what do they mean?

Raul, 13th April 2013

Hare Krishna!!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!!

Quick question:
What’s the difference between:

1. Srila and Sriman?

2. Swami and Goswami

Thank you
Hare Krishna!!

Mahabhagavat Das, 16th April 2013

Dear Raul,

Hare Krishna!

Quick answers to your questions, others may have more detail:

What’s the difference between: 1. Srila and Sriman?

Both are honorific titles used to indicate that the person being referred to has some significant opulence that sets them apart from ordinary persons.

“Srila” practically means “His Divine Grace”, used for exalted personalities – spiritual masters and also for Lord Krishna as in “Srila Govinda devau preshthamaanam smaraami”.

Sriman is used for any respectable personality, especially those serving sincerely.

There is another word “Srimad” in this connection, which can be translated as “most beautiful”

What’s the difference between: 2. Swami and Goswami

Practically no difference. “Swami” means “master”, and “Goswami” means “master of the senses” – if we ask “Swami of what”, it comes to the same thing “master of the senses”. Even though a pure devotee is a master of the senses, only someone who has entered and remained within the renounced order of life, Sannyas, should use the title “Swami” or “Goswami” according to their Sannyas vows.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Bhakta David, 16th April 2013

Please accept my humble obeisances, All glories to Srila Prabhupada, Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Guru Mataji.

This is a wonderful answer. Does this mean it is improper to call someone with the title “Swami” by the title “Goswami?” For example is it offensive to call Bhakti Caru Swami, Bhakti Caru Goswami? They are qualified for Goswami title, so is that improper?

your servant
Bhakta David

Mahabhagavat Das, 16th April 2013

In the case of Srila Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja, “Swami” is a part of his official Sannyasa name. So for those who know of the glorious qualities of Srila Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja, it would correct to say that Srila Bhakti Caru Maharaja is an exalted Goswami, but not quite appropriate to change his name! 🙂

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

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