A member of India's most ancient monastic order, reorganized in the ninth century by Swami Shankara (q.v.). A swami takes formal vows of celibacy and renunciation of worldly ties and ambitions; he devotes himself to meditation and other spiritual practices, and to service to humanity. There are ten classificatory titles of the venerable Swami Order, as Giri, Puri, Bharati, Tirtha, Saraswati, and others. Swami Sri Yukreswar (q.v.) and Paramahansa Yogananda belonged to the Giri ("mountain") branch. The Sanskrit word swami means "he who is one with the Self (Swa)."