Atithi Devo Bhavah is a Sanskrit verse which simply means – consider the guest as god. This value-laden statement is drawn from an ancient scripture Hindu religion which has always been the ethos of Indian culture.
Once a guest is assumed to be God-like, then comes the process he should be treated. As the God is treated with reverence and respect and there are proper ways to show that respect, those ways are called rituals. Similarly, the guest should also be shown the respect through the same rituals. In Hinduism, these rituals comprise of five-steps which is known as Panchopchara Puja. These five rituals from the worship similarly become the five “code of conduct” to be followed while receiving guests which are as follows:
- Fragrance/Incence (Dhupa) - The rooms must have a pleasant fragrance while welcoming any guest because a good fragrance will make guest in good mood.
- Earthen Lamp (Dipa) – Lighted earthen lamp looks beautiful, fire is considered pious and also a source of light which disperses light so that everything between guest and the host is clearly visible.
- Eatables (Naivedya) - Fruits and milk-made sweets were given to guests for refreshments.
- Rice (Akshata) – Tilak is considered not only a symbol of warm wishes but also an expectation of well-being of the person on whom it is applied. Made from vermilion paste, tilak is put on the forehead and rice grains are placed on tilak. This is the most respectable form of welcome in Indian Hindu families.
- Flower Offering (Pushpa) - A flower not only symbolizes freshness and but is also a gesture of good will. It symbolizes the sweet and enduring memories of the visit between the host and the guest that stay with them for several days.
This Indian tradition of hospitality is known the world over for its warmth and affection. This exactly is the reason why millions of tourists every year love to come to India. Once in India, it would be recommendable to stay in Indian homes if there is opportunity because it is the place where the real flavor of Indian hospitality could be experienced. But even if such opportunity is not there, there are no reasons to feel sad as Indian hotels provide similar warm hospitality following the rich Indian tradition of welcoming their guests with respect and care.
Indian food and cuisines must be enjoyed to its fullest once in India. The curries and spices used in preparation of the food are unique to India only. Indian sweets, delicacies, and aroma of the spices used in preparation of the Indian food are really mouth-watering.
Indian people are considerate and affectionate towards the guests. They are generally friendly, of helping attitude and hospitable. They give due care to provide their guests with warm hospitality and comfort. It is considered bad in India if any guest goes with any kind of hard feeling and so they never let a guest go away unhappy from their home. The tourists coming to receive everything required to make stay pleasant and memorable right from the splendid tourists spot to the rich local cuisines to the spiritual upliftment they achieve to the warm hospitality given by the Indians. Due to these reasons, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the tourists visiting India want to come back to India again & again.