Speaker: Srila Prabhupada
Source: Planting the seed
“And now,” he said at length, “I will tell you what is meant by initiation. Initiation means that the spiritual master accepts the student and agrees to take charge, and the student accepts the spiritual master and agrees to worship him as God.” He paused. No one spoke. “Any questions?” And when there were none, he got up and walked out. The devotees were stunned. What had they just heard him say? For weeks he had stressed that when anyone claims to be God he should be considered a dog.
“My mind’s just been blown,” said Wally.
“Everybody’s mind is blown,” said Howard.
“Swamiji just dropped a bomb”.
… Wally went back to the temple and consulted Howard, and together they went up to Swamiji’s apartment. “Does what you told us this morning,” Howard asked, “mean we are supposed to accept the spiritual master to be God?”
“That means he is due the same respect as God, being God’s representative,” Prabhupäda replied, calmly.
“Then he is not God?”
“No,” Prabhupäda said, “God is God. The spiritual master is His representative. Therefore, he is as good as God because he can deliver God to the sincere disciple. Is that clear?” It was.