पाद्यमर्घ्यं तथातिथ्यं चकार सुसमाहिता । प्रतिजग्राह काकुत्स्थो विधिदृष्टेन कर्मणा ॥

– श्रीमद्वाल्मीकिरामायणे बालकाण्डे एकोनपञ्चाशस्सर्गः (१८)

The meaning of this shoka is “AhalyaDevi offered पाद्यम्, अर्घ्यम् and then invited Raama, Lakshmanas into their Aashram. She then worshipped them accordingly. Raama and Lakshmana accepted her prayers always thinking of them as traditional acts of hospitality”.

This beautiful shloka gives commentary on the Indian principle “अतिथि देवोभव”. Like AhalyaDevi, we should think of the guest as Lord Vishnu Himself and hence give पाद्यम् (host should wash guest’s feet with water and sprinkle that sacred water on himself), give अर्घ्यम् (offer water to wash guest’s hands), give आचमनम् and welcome the guest inside. Then we should worship him accordingly.

This shloka also shows how an ideal guest should be: Like Raama and Lakshmana we should never even have the slightest pride and not have even slightest dis-respect for the host who is washing your feet etc.; instead we should think that these are merely acts of hospitality done according to traditions to all guests.