Atithi or Guest Reception (study)
by Sarika. P. | 2022 | 41,363 words
Summary: This essay represents a Study on Atithi-Saparya—The ancient Indian practice of hospitality or “guest reception”. Hospitality (in the Indian context) is an exalted practice, the roots of which can be traced to the Vedic period. The spirit of guest-reception (atithi-saparya) contained in the Vedic literature is reflected in modern tourism in India, even though it has deviated from the original concept. Technically, in the Dharmasutras, the Sanskrit term Atithi could be defined as one who arrives from afar with hunger and thirst during the time of the Vaishvadeva rite. The Vaisvadeva is a ceremony that includes offering cooked food to all Gods.
This study investigates the ritualistic elements as reflected in the Dharmashastra literature. The socio-cultural aspects of the ritualistic guest-reception that is prescribed in the Dharma-shstra texts are also analyzed. Literature includes the Vedas, Puranas and other classical Sanskrit literature.
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