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By Swami Harshananda

Apaciti literally means ‘paying respect’.

The dharmaśāstras, treatises on law and code of conduct, specify that six types of people should be shown due honor and respect, by a householder. They are mentioned below :

  1. Ācārya - Teacher
  2. Rtvik - Officiating priest
  3. Rājan - The king
  4. Snātaka - One who has just finished Vedic studies
  5. Śvaśura - Father-in- law
  6. Pitṛvya - Paternal uncle
  7. Mātula - Maternal uncle

The reception given in their honor is called ‘apaciti’ or ‘argha’. It consists of

  • Offering a seat to sit on
  • Pādya - Water for washing feet
  • Arghya - Water for washing hands
  • Ācamana - Water for rinsing mouth
  • Madhuparka - A preparation of honey and other ingredients


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore