1. Guru as tax collector

    Your strong desire to serve me is very beautiful; your serving me means serving Krishna. I am also your servant so I cannot accept your service from you, or from any of my disciples. I accept service from my disciples on behalf of Krishna. Just like a tax collector must collect for the treasury, not for himself. If he himself touches so much as a farthing it would be unlawful.

    So I have no right to accept service from any disciple, but on behalf of Krishna I can accept. Sincere service to the Spiritual Master is service to the Supreme Lord. As stated in the prayer, ‘Yasya Prasadad Bhagavat-Prasado’. That means because Krishna accepts service through the via media of Spiritual Master, therefore pleasing the Spiritual Master is equal to pleasing the Supreme Lord.

    Srila Prabhupada – Letter to Upendra, February 13, 1968