(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 22 December 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, Disciple Meeting)
Relationships are very much based on indebtedness – that we see the sacrifice that others are making. Relationships between Krsna and his devotees are like that; relationships between guru and disciple are also like that, it is based on indebtedness. A disciple has to capture the guru by doing something by which the guru feels, ‘Well, this person, this disciple, really went out of his way to do something really nice!’ That is when the mercy starts flowing.
In the same way, the spiritual master is naturally making a sacrifice, because he is different, he is not like everybody else. He is reliable, he is trustworthy, because he is doing what nobody does – going against the current. In a river, it is never easy to go against the current but somehow or other, the guru goes against the current. Therefore, we feel indebted because we see that the guru speaks the truth and he lives the truth. Thus we are indebted for this. So those things make an integral part of spiritual relationships that are based on service.