‘Welcoming or greeting’ is a very important initial step in the big picture of a ‘bond between any two entities’. This phase creates the First impressions.

Imagine we want to welcome God. Is there any special protocol because He is special and unique in many ways? After God spends some time with us, Does He invite and welcome us to His place. How do we reach there, what is the address!?

Very interesting and important questions, right? All this may seem impractical, but it is not – says our scriptures!

God is accessible as Deity in our homes. All the existence that we see around is His divine body!

What does it mean to welcome Him if He already exists this way?

To welcome Him is to realise and accept His beautiful and powerful presence with pure love. This is not the only form of God that exists, but it is the way that God makes Him available for us when we are living in the bodies driven by karma [for ex: the current human body].

The more we learn about God and ourselves through acharya, the more and more we know about the rest of His forms. We then develop true love for God. This makes us welcome Him with purity in heart! Let’s now see how a pure soul welcomes God…

First Situation – WE are the HOST, GOD is our GUEST

We generally follow a certain protocol to welcome a guest. We try to please the guest by satiating his/her senses, such as:

    • Fragrant rose water (satiates nose)
    • Refreshing juice and delicious dishes (satiates tongue)
    • Warm hug or a heart-felt shake hand (satiates skin)
    • Pleasing words (satiates ear)
    • Beautiful environment (satiates eyes)

What can we offer to please God? 

Welcoming God through various services (upacharamulu)
The pleasing wordsSongs composed by the greatest of the devotees  [a:lwars pa:suramulu]
The fragrant rose waterFragrance of love [prema parimalaalu]
Beautiful environmentOur complete surrender to God [sarana:gathi]
Warm hug or a heart-felt shake handTrustful association with sadacharya [sada:charya sama:srayanam]
Refreshing juice and delicious dishes with candle lightVarious ways in which we are sweetly and respectfully bonded with Lakshmi Devi   [Lakshmi Devi anugraham] ; the diya of  mangala deepam!

Keeping these in mind, think of what else can we offer that pleases Him?

Whatever we may offer, it should have one key ingredient – the pure Desire to serve Him alone, with the only one driving force – Devotion!

Now that we have beautifully welcomed God, will He also welcome us to His abode? In fact, it is said in scriptures that God longs and awaits our arrival. We are the ones running late! What about the family and responsibilities here? God never expects one to leave any responsibility, but He expects us to leave our attachment to the results of our work. Until we leave this body, we can try and feel the journey by reading and meditating about it. It is said that a grand welcome awaits us through a beautiful path. Read through the below section for these details!

Second Situation – GOD is our HOST, WE are His GUESTS

We now found out from acharya that God is awaiting our presence in His abode.God’s entire parivar gets involved in welcoming us to Paramapadam, the destination! Sri Va:thsya Varada:charya, well known as Nad:du:r Ammal has thoroughly gone through various sa:stras and Upanishads and brought out two slo:kas, to reveal the journey of the soul towards God in Paramapadam!

Parama:rttha Slo:ka Dvayam, The White Path – Sukla Gathi (Sre:yo:ma:rga)
Sath sanga:th bhava nispru:ho guru mukha:th sri:sam prapadya:tmava:n

Pra:rabhdham paribhujya karma sakalam prakshi:na karma:ntaraha |

Nya:sa:de:va nirankuse:swara daya:nirlu:na ma:ya:nvayo:

Ha:rda:nugraha labdha Madhya dhamani dva:ra:d bahir nirgathaha||

Muktho:rchir dina pu:rva paksha shad udang
ma:sa:bda va:tha:msumath,

Glaurvidhyuth varune:ndra dha:thru mahithas si:ma:ntha sindhva:pluthaha |

Sri:vaikunttam upe:thya nithyam ajadam
thasmin para bramhanaha

Sa:yujyam samava:pya nandathi samamthe:naiva dhanyah puma:n ||

The soul is greeted by the Moon, the Va:yu, the Sun, the Bramha, takes a holy dip in Viraja (the eternal river where the soul sheds the subtle body, the sookshma sareera), boards onto the great Garuda, greeted by all nitya gana:s (those who have never left the abode of God) and muktha gana:s (those who have left the abode of God out of desire for temporary pleasures, but have realised and reached God’s abode), received by alwars and acharyas, loved by Sri Devi, Bhu Devi, Neela Devi and finally resting in the laps of Lord!

This is how God welcomes us with all the greater of the greatest things that we can imagine! Now that we have enjoyed the grand welcome, we cannot wait to serve God through the body that has been given by Him. A body that is no longer driven by karma – and thus a very powerful body with unrestricted abilities!

So, who gave the BEST welcome, yourself or God? 😊

-From the discourse of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji
 Vizag 25th (Paramapadotsavam)
[GOD is our HOST – WE are His GUESTS]
– Mandasa 26th (Edurukollu Uthsavam)
[WE are the HOST – GOD is our GUEST]