ATITHI DEVO BHAVA
Atithi Devo Bhava means Guests are God, and they must be given proper respect according to ancient Hindu tradition. Guests must be welcomed to our homes, with due respect, and they must be offered good and delicious food. We should always speak to them softly and must treat them gently and kindly. Even if we didn’t have sufficient food in our homes, we have to immediately arrange food for them from somewhere else and must offer them clean and hygienic food.
The great Nayanmar saints used to warmly welcome the guests, and would provide sufficient food to them in a noble manner. Due to their good service, after the end of their life, they have attained Shiva Loka. According to Hindu Dharma, a visiting guest should not move from our place with empty stomach. According to ancient puranas and Vedas, guests have to be properly honoured. Honouring the guests is similar to honouring the almighty.
But nowadays, most of the people are welcoming their friends and relatives to their homes based on their financial status only. If a poor guest enters into the homes of his/her relatives, he would not be given proper respect by his rich relatives. Even during the times of marriage functions, relatives used to criticize him, and would talk about him badly, and would not allow the guest even to eat properly.
But god doesn’t differentiate the people based on their status. According to him, if a person contains good qualities, and even though he is a poor person, he would be considered as rich, in the eyes of the god. But most of us are ignorant about this. Things may change at any time according to the will of the god. Rich people can enjoy the luxuries and comforts in their life only till their death. After the end of the life, nothing would come along with us, expect our good and bad karmas would be carried forward to our next birth.
Hence let us properly invite our guests, irrespective of their financial status, and be blessed.