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A swami (Sanskrit: स्वामी Svāmi [sʋáːmi]) sometimes abbreviated "Sw." is an ascetic or yogi who has been initiated into the religious monastic order founded by Adi Shankara, or to a religious teacher.
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.
In christianity, the term idol can have the negative connotation of a false god. The terms 'statue' or 'representation' may be more appropriate.
"Svami", when used as a prefix with a monastic name. The term usually refers to men, but can also apply to women who have taken the oath of renunciation and abandoned their social and or worldly status to follow this path. The monastic name is usually a single word without a first and last name.
In the Bengali language, the word (pronounced [ˈʃami]), while carrying its original meaning, has a dual meaning of 'husband'. The word also means 'husband' in the Malay language, where it is spelled 'Suami'.