Every living entity is essentially a servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the spiritual master is also His servant. Still, the spiritual master is a direct manifestation of the Lord. With this conviction, a disciple can advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The spiritual master is nondifferent from Kṛṣṇa because he is a manifestation of Kṛṣṇa.
Lord Nityānanda, who is Balarāma Himself, the first direct manifestation or expansion of Kṛṣṇa, is the original spiritual master. He helps Lord Kṛṣṇa in His pastimes, and He is a servant of the Lord.
Every living entity is eternally a servant of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya; therefore the spiritual master cannot be other than a servant of Lord Caitanya. The spiritual master’s eternal occupation is to expand the service of the Lord by training disciples in a service attitude. A spiritual master never poses as the Supreme Lord Himself; he is considered a representative of the Lord. The revealed scriptures prohibit one’s pretending to be God, but a bona fide spiritual master is a most faithful and confidential servant of the Lord and therefore deserves as much respect as Kṛṣṇa.