(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada offering arotika to Radha Gokulananda)
Devotee: When we offer something to you, for example, your picture, he wants to know if the person, if, simply by his act of offering does he become purified, or if the spiritual master is actually aware of the offering.
Prabhupāda: Offering? What is that offering?
Devotee: For example, if we offer some food to you or if we just offer, for example, chanting, any activity we try to dedicate to you...
Prabhupāda: Yes, yes. The spiritual master is the representative of God. Whatever you offer to the spiritual master, it goes to God. Just like the tax collector. He collects taxes, but it goes to the government. The spiritual master does not take anything for himself. Whatever you give, that is carried to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just like in our movement we collect millions of dollars, but it goes for Kṛṣṇa's service, for constructing temple, for providing the devotees, for publishing books, for spreading this knowledge, in so many ways, not personal expenditure.
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Mexico, February 17, 1975)