“Atithi Devo Bhava” is a Sanskrit phrase that means, “A guest is like god”. This is a concept deeply etched in Indian traditions and hospitality as well. It is believed in India that a guest who visits your house should be treated as you would treat God itself. Thus Indian hospitality is known for its courtesy, splendor and grace throughout the world.
When a guest is given the position of god, it means being of service to him or her is extremely important when they visit. The guest’s comfort should be thought about first, and the guests should feel absolutely comfortable and honored by you when visiting your house.
Your attitude and behavior is of key importance when playing host to a house guest. A warm smile and welcome goes a long way. These small things never go unnoticed and even though you may no loose anything by being this way they help a lot in making the guest’s stay comfortable, which is one of the best gifts you can give your guest.
Guests, who visit our homes from another city or country, hold certain expectations from us. We must try to preempt their requirements and keep their room equipped to fulfill these requirements, so that they can have a comfortable stay at our home. Making sure the electronic gadgets such as television, air conditioner, fan etc. are in working condition, These checks should be a part of the check list, before the guest arrives, along with some others such as making sure the bed cover has been changed, A bottle of water and a small food hamper are placed in the guest bedroom. These are signs of being a humble and a good host.
Entertaining the guests is another important aspect of being a good host. You may be a working individual, who may not and have the liberty of time to entertain the guests throughout the day. Your guest needs to understand that, however what you can do on your part is, offer some help to your guest, in terms of what they can do in the city while you are busy. You can also, make reservations for them, to places they wish to visit, as a part of plying your part as a good host.
Each individual is distinct and dynamic in his or her own way, thus the relations we share with each guest is different. While with some we like to go grab a drink and party, with others we know the best idea is to keep the conversation light and enjoy a well cooked meal. You must keep your guests liking in mind and make plans accordingly for the tenure of their stay when entertaining them.
When our guests are about to leave our house, after time well spent, with us, a small token, to mark the time spent together is a thoughtful gesture. A gift can be anything that will touch their heart. It could be a scarf for a visiting cousin, or a sari for auntiji. It truly is a mark of a good host who believes and endures to live his values in reality, the value deeply imbibed in us, “Atithi Devo Bhava”.