(‘paying respect’)

The dharmaśāstras, treatises on law and code of conduct, specify that six types of people should be shown due honour and respect, by a householder. They are: ācārya (teacher), ṛtvik (officiating priest), rājan (the king), snātaka (one who has just finished Vedic studies), śvaśura (father-in-law), pitṛvya (paternal uncle) and mātula (maternal uncle).

The reception given in their honour is called ‘apaciti’ or ‘argha’ and consists of offering a seat to sit on, pādya (water for washing feet), arghya (water for washing hands), ācamana (water for rinsing mouth) and madhuparka (a preparation of honey and other ingredients).