"Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Inquiries and submission constitute the proper combination for spiritual understanding. Unless there is submission and service, inquiries from the learned spiritual master will not be effective. One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual master, and when he sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he automatically blesses the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding."
(Bhagavad-gita As It Is 4.34, Purport)
"First there must be the devotee's mercy; then Krishna's mercy will descend. Yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado/ yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto ’pi. Our first duty, therefore, is to satisfy the spiritual master, who can arrange for the Lord's mercy. A common man must first begin to serve the spiritual master, or the devotee. Then, through the mercy of the devotee, the Lord will be satisfied. Unless one receives the dust of a devotee's lotus feet on one's head, there is no possibility of advancement."
(Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 11.58, Purport)
"For advancement of material knowledge there is a need for personal ability and researching aptitude, but in the case of spiritual knowledge, all progress depends more or less on the mercy of the spiritual master. The spiritual master must be satisfied with the disciple; only then is knowledge automatically manifest before the student of spiritual science."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.10, Purport)
"A common man cannot rise to the topmost stage of spiritual perfection simply by following the rituals and religious principles. He has to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master and work under his direction faithfully and sincerely; then he becomes perfect, without a doubt."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.22.6, Purport)
"Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's eight stanzas of prayer to the spiritual master, it is clearly stated that simply by satisfying the spiritual master one can achieve the supreme success in life, and in spite of executing all ritualistic performances, if one cannot satisfy the spiritual master, one has no access to spiritual perfection."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.22.6, Purport)
"Your next question is, should we love Krishna or love the spiritual master: You cannot go to Krishna directly, loving Him. It is common sense that if Krishna is the object of your love, His pet dog is also the object of your love. Friends meet friends and if the friend is with his dog the gentleman pats his dog first, is it not? So the man becomes automatically pleased, his dog being patted. I have seen it in your country. The conclusion is this: Without pleasing the spiritual master he cannot please Krishna. If anyone tries to please Krishna directly, he's fool number one."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 14, 1972)
"So far your questions are concerned. Nityananda is the principle of the Guru. So, the Gurudeva is the incarnation of Nityananda. Anyone strictly following the instruction of the Guru is following Nityananda. The price one has to pay if he wants to become Krsna conscious is that he must dedicate himself to following the order of the spiritual master, mahat seva. If the Spiritual Master is pleased with disciple then the blessings of Guru will be there. That is the best way to become Krsna conscious, and Krsna is non-different from Nityananda. You may pray to Lord Nityananda to help you become dedicated in the service of your Guru. Krsna consciousness cannot be achieved artificially. You should approach Nityananda Prabhu through your Spiritual Master."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 2, 1976)
Lord Krishna (to Sudama Brahmana): "With great compassion our gurudeva said, 'My dear boys, it is very wonderful that you have suffered so much trouble for me. Everyone likes to take care of his body as the first consideration, but you are so good and faithful to your guru that without caring for bodily comforts you have taken so much trouble for me. I am glad to see that bona fide students like you will undergo any kind of trouble for the satisfaction of the spiritual master. That is the way for a bona fide disciple to become free from his debt to the spiritual master. It is the duty of the disciple to dedicate his life to the service of the spiritual master. My dear best of the twice-born, I am greatly pleased by your acts, and I bless you: May all your desires and ambitions be fulfilled. May the understanding of the Vedas which you have learned from me always continue to remain within your memory, so that at every moment you can remember the teachings of the Vedas and quote their instructions without difficulty. Thus you will never be disappointed in this life or the next.'
Krishna continued: 'My dear friend, you may remember that many such incidents occurred while we were in the asrama of our spiritual master. Both of us can realize that without the blessings of the spiritual master no one can be happy. By the mercy of the spiritual master and by his blessings, one can achieve peace and prosperity and be able to fulfill the mission of human life.'"
(Krishna Book, Chapter 80)
"The candidate must be prepared to satisfy the spiritual master in every way. A bona fide spiritual master who is fully cognizant of the methods of spiritual science, learned in the spiritual scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gita, Vedanta, Srimad-Bhagavatam and Upanisads, and who is also a realized soul who has made a tangible connection with the Supreme Lord, is the transparent medium by which the willing candidate is led to the path of the Vaikunthas. The spiritual master must be satisfied in all respects, because simply by his good wishes a candidate can make wonderful progress along the path."
(Easy Journey to Other Planets, Chapter 1)
Devotee: "Sometimes this question comes up, with the devotees especially, that it says the devotee makes advancement when the spiritual master is pleased. Right? So sometimes the spiritual master is far, far away. He may be in Los Angeles. Somebody is coming to Hamburg temple. He thinks, 'How will the spiritual master be pleased?'"
Prabhupada: "Just follow his order. Spiritual master is along with you by his words. Just like my spiritual master is not physically present, but I am associating with him by his words."
Devotee: "And Krishna knows that; therefore we make advancement. He is sitting in our heart. He knows what we're doing. So He sees, 'He's serving My pure devotee,' immediately there is advancement."
Prabhupada: "Yes. Spiritual master... Krishna is not limited. It is not material. You can associate with Krishna and the spiritual master in any circumstance, provided you want two things. Just like we can associate with Krishna immediately if we take Bhagavad-gita as it is. He is not different from Bhagavad-gita. Nama-rupe kali-kale krsna-avatara (CC Adi 17.22). Krishna is incarnated in His name in this age. You associate with Krishna's name, immediately associate with Krishna."
Devotee: "And his devotees."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, London, July 7, 1972)
"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 Prasadad. 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, February 13, 1968)
"Bhakti-lata-bija means 'the seed of devotional service.' Everything has an original cause, or seed. For any idea, program, plan or device, there is first of all the contemplation of the plan, and that is called the bija, or seed. The methods, rules and regulations by which one is perfectly trained in devotional service constitute the bhakti-lata-bija, or seed of devotional service. This bhakti-lata-bija is received from the spiritual master by the grace of Krishna. Other seeds, called anyabhilasa-bija, include karma-bija and jnana-bija. If one is not fortunate enough to receive the bhakti-lata-bija from the spiritual master, he instead cultivates such seeds as karma-bija, jnana-bija, or political, social or philanthropic bijas. However, the bhakti-lata-bija is different from these other bijas. The bhakti-lata-bija can be received only through the mercy of the spiritual master. Therefore one has to satisfy the spiritual master to get the bhakti-lata-bija (yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah). The bhakti-lata-bija is the origin of devotional service. Unless one satisfies the spiritual master, he gets the bija, or root cause, of karma, jnana and yoga without the benefit of devotional service. But one who is faithful to his spiritual master gets the bhakti-lata-bija."
(Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 19.152, Purport)
"If you see that the spiritual master is satisfied, then you should know that Krishna is satisfied. That is confirmed by Visvanatha Cakravarti: yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah. And yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto 'pi: If the spiritual master is not satisfied, then you are gone to hell. Yasya aprasadan na gatih kuto 'pi. Because who will recommend to Krishna the promotion and so many things?"
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Rome, May 24, 1974)
"When one serves a Vaisnava unknowingly, one still gets the good result, and if one unknowingly insults a Vaisnava, one suffers the bad result. A Vaisnava is especially favored by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Pleasing him or displeasing him directly affects the pleasure and displeasure of the Supreme Lord. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, in his eight stanzas of prayer to the spiritual master, has sung, yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah: by pleasing the spiritual master, who is a pure Vaisnava, one pleases the Personality of Godhead, but if one displeases the spiritual master one does not know where he is going."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.9.23, Purport)
"The spiritual master is certainly very merciful to his disciples, and consequently by satisfying him a devotee gets strength from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore says, guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija: (CC Madhya 19.151) one must first please the spiritual master, and then one automatically pleases Krishna and gets the strength with which to cross the ocean of nescience. If one seriously desires to return home, back to Godhead, one must therefore become strong enough by pleasing the spiritual master, for thus one gets the weapon with which to conquer the enemy, and one also gets the grace of Krishna. Simply getting the weapon of jnana is insufficient. One must sharpen the weapon by serving the spiritual master and adhering to his instructions. Then the candidate will get the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."
(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 7.15.45, Purport)