The nectar of having guests
We just had 3 guests stay with us, and I always love to offer our home to our dear devotee friends, acquaintances, and sometimes couples who we counsel. My wife likes it 'cus the house gets cleaned nicely :->>, yet more importantly we get to spend some quality time with devotees, and offer our best hospitality. Since we live in a rural area, the atmosphere is very peaceful and conducive for spiritual practice, and we have very beautiful Deities (authorized forms of God described in the scriptures) who offer their blessings.
A discussion of why Gaudiya Vaishnavas consider the form of God greater then just his all-pervading energy is for another time. Suffice it is to say here, that according to one the Gaudiyas' primary scriptures, the Shrimad Bhagavatam, the Lord has three features, Brahman, or his all-pervading aspect, Paramatma, or the localized form of God within everyone's heart and w/i every atom, and the Source of both, Bhagavan, or the Supreme from of God, from whom everything and everyone emanates.....this is a big topic....in fact it is THE topic necessary to understand in order to engage in bhakti and surrender to Krishna.
Although we live out in the sticks here at Prabhupada village we do have opportunities to host sannyasis and householder couples and others. Besides giving in charity, I feel being able to have guests is very important for grihasthas (those married couples who try to live together in a spiritual way---whose home is an ashrama)
Beside providing a place for our spiritual practice and meeting the needs of the body/mind, the perfection of having a home is to host and serve guests. We are encouraged to treat our guests like God. I don't know if I treat them that well, but I do my best to make them comfortable, and tend to their needs. It is very personal and intimate. When designing our home, having a nice guest facility was very important. In Baltimore we had one, and I wanted to make sure we could nicely facilitate guests.
We are servants of our Deities, and what better way to please the Lord than by serving the devotees, and giving them a peaceful and spiritual atmosphere, where they can recharge, or just get a break on a stopover on a long journey.
We live 10 minutes from Hanging Rock State Park in North Carolina.