Atithi Devo Bhava

In Hinduism/Sanatana Dharma Personal God is worshipped in a five-step worship; this is known as Panchopchara Puja. The "Shodashopchar Poojan" is more elaborate and formal, and involves 16 steps.

The five steps from the worship become the five formalities to be observed while receiving guests:

Fragrance (Dhupa) - While receiving guests the rooms must have a pleasant fragrance, because this is the first thing that attracts or detracts guests from their visit. A pleasant fragrance will put a guest in good humour.

Lamp (Dipa) - Prior to the electrification of India, a lamp was put between host and guest so that expression and body language would remain clearly visible and therefore no gap would be created between host and guest.

Eatables (Naivedya) - Fruits and sweets made of milk were offered to guests.

Rice (Akshata) - It is a symbol of being undivided. A tilak, often made of a vermilion paste, is put on the forehead[1] and rice grains are placed on it. This is the highest form of welcome in Hindu Indian families.

Flower Offering (Pushpa) - A flower is a gesture of good will. When the guest departs, the flower symbolizes the sweet memories of the visit that stay with them for several days.

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About Me

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Sri Nithya Bramhaswarupananda Swami is a committed Hindu monk, living and enriching society with the Vedic lifestyle. He resides in the sacred temple town of Tiruvannamalai, in Tamil Nadu, India. He was initiated into the path of Poorna Sannyasa (Hindu monasticism) in the Adi Shaiva tradition, on the auspicious occasion of Mahashivaratri in 2014. Prior to embracing the spiritual path, He held a Master’s degree in Information Technology and enjoyed a prolific career taking on leadership roles in multinational companies like Tata Consultancy Services and Microsoft Corporation.

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