Ms. Nixon: You have said that you are not God, and yet it appears to me, as an outsider, that your devotees treat you as if you were God.
Śrīla Prabhupāda: Yes, that is their duty. Because the spiritual master is executing God's order, he should be respected as much as God, just as a government officer should be respected as much as the government because he executes the government's order. Even if an ordinary policeman comes, you have to respect him because he is a government man. But that does not mean he is the government. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair/ uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhiḥ: ** "The spiritual master is to be honored as much as the Supreme Lord because he is the most confidential servitor of the Lord. This is acknowledged in all revealed scriptures and followed by all authorities."
Ms. Nixon: I also wonder about the many beautiful material things that the devotees bring you. For instance, you left the airport in a beautiful, fancy car. I wonder about this because...
Śrīla Prabhupāda: That teaches the disciples how to regard the spiritual master as good as God. If you respect the government representative as much as you respect the government, then you must treat him opulently. If you respect the spiritual master as much as God, then you must offer him the same facilities you would offer to God. God travels in a golden car. If the disciples offer the spiritual master an ordinary motorcar, it would not be sufficient, because the spiritual master has to be treated like God. If God comes to your home, will you bring him an ordinary motorcar—or will you arrange for a golden car?
Science of Self Realization 1b: What Is Kṛṣṇa Consciousness?