Shri, Shree, Sri are some common Indian words which one hears everyday. Written as श्री in Sanskrit, Hindi or Marathi this word is taken for granted, as short form of Mr. [Mister].
Other variations include Shriman, श्रीमान् [full form of Mister], Shrimati, श्रीमति [used to address married women] or Sushri, सुश्री [ladies respectfully addressed as].
Another thing one notices is that most Hindu deities are addressed as Shri.Sri is a word you also find at the beginning of the names of some Indian religious and spiritual leaders.
This is a description of Shri from ancient Indian mythology. Once upon a time there was a huge war between the Gods and the Demons. The Gods were defeated.Indra, the king of the Gods fell upon hard times, all his glory was lost, and he had to live in hiding to survive. All his compatriots were gone, so was his wife.
In such a sorry state of affairs Indra went to Brahma Lok.He pleaded with Brahma to help him. There were many God, Rishis and great persons present there. In front of all of them Brahma asked Indra to surrender himself to Mahalaxmi and seek her blessings.
With great devotion Indra started worshipping Mahalaxmi.At first he recited the Mantra “Shri” 1 Million times.Afer this he acquired mastery over the Mantra “Shri’.Then Indra started praising the Goddess and surrendered himself, to her mercy.
Pleased with him, Mahalaxmi manifested before Indra.Indra then begged her to help him regain his lost glory. Saying this with tears in his eyes, he kept his head on her feet. Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Dharma and all the other Gods also manifested and pleaded with Mahalaxmi to have pity on Indra.
Pleased with his devotion Mahalaxmi granted him the boon to regain his lost glory. Then Indra assembled all the Gods and again went to war with the Demons, and defeated them.Thus with the boon given by Mahalaxmi, he regained his lost glory.
Thus we see that the word “Shri” is the name of the Goddess Mahalaxmi.The word “Shri” is also a most powerful Mantra, in which even the king of the Gods Indra,had to seek refuge in. When we utter the word “Shri” we are unintentionally reciting a powerful Mantra.