Our morning class discussion was centered around a verse from the Bhagavatam, 10.20.20, which goes as follows: “The peacocks became festive and cried out a joyful greeting when they saw the clouds arrive, just as people distressed in household life feel pleasure when the pure devotees of the infallible Supreme Lord visit them.”
How then to improve our hospitality when people come to visit the temple and ashram? Visitors may not necessarily fit into the category of “pure devotee” but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt that their intent is good. People come on a daily basis for some comfort and serenity. How can we make their stay the most welcoming?
The simple answer that came from the group was to acknowledge their presence with:
1) A smile
2) Some words of welcome
3) Offer some prasadam, even a small piece
4) Inform them of upcoming sangas—gatherings
5) Answer their questions
6) Offer them literature, a take-home bit of information
7) Inform them as to where they may find water and a washroom
This can be expanded upon, of course.
The demonstration of the above kindness came from Kelly and Ramachandra when Nimai took Wade and I on the drive to Tilsonburg at the Indigo Lounge. In its yoga room, we met with local folks interested in hearing “Tales From Trails,” the Bhagavat philosophy, and some chanting.
It was nice to see the enthusiasm from the group, in terms of the good questions coming my way and the response to the literature, CD’s and japa beads we made available.
We felt most welcome. Kelly’s final word was, “Let’s do it again!”
May the Source be with you!