Dr. Kuznetsov: Because you are a very wise person, I would like to ask your permission to call you 'Swami'.Sri Chinmoy: I am only a God-lover and God-server named Chinmoy. In India, instead of saying ‘Mr.’, we say ‘Sri’, which means ‘beauty’ as well as some other divine qualities. Again, those who have realised the Highest, who have discovered their true inner existence, are also known as ‘Sri’, such as Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo, Sri Chaitanya and Sri Krishna. A Guru is one who is a teacher, one who illumines the ignorance of the students. In English we use the term ‘teacher’ or ‘professor’, but in Sanskrit and Bengali, the one who illumines the ignorance-night of the students is called the Guru. A Guru is addressed as ‘Sri’.
My students call me Guru, and my friends and dear ones who have genuine respect and love for me call me Sri Chinmoy. Again, my Indian friends and colleagues and others with whom I was brought up simply call me Chinmoy.
‘Swami’ has three ordinary meanings: lord, husband or head of a family. Again, in spiritual terms, one who has renounced the world is also a swami. In my case, my path is the way of acceptance and not renunciation. My students and I have accepted life as such, and we are trying to become good citizens of the world so that we can make life better for all. I do not feel that I fall into the category of a swami. I inwardly feel that what I am is a God-lover and a God-server. These are my credentials.