We have got debts to so many people. First debt is to the demigods. Just like the sun-god, moon-god, they are supplying heat, light. The Varuṇa. In this material world we have got so many debts. But people do not care for it. Just like we are receiving light from sun, but what we are paying to the sun? Therefore we remain debtor. This is Vedic idea. You are getting this electricity. If you don't pay the bill, how long you will be able to use it? After some days the connection will be cut off. But although we do not pay any bill to the sunlight, because it is the order of Kṛṣṇa, it is giving us light. But how long it will go on? This is sinful. If you take something from a person and if you do not repay, that is sinful. Ṛṇa. It is called ṛṇa.
So there are so many debts. First to the demigod, then to the ṛṣis, saintly persons. Because we get knowledge, Vedic knowledge, from the ṛṣi, we must be debtor. Guru-ṛṇa: debtor to the spiritual master, to the sages, to the saintly persons, because we are getting knowledge from them. Therefore the Vyāsa-pūjā is there. Once in a year the disciples are worshiping the spiritual master and trying to repay that he has received from the spiritual master. Devarṣi-bhūta. Similarly, in our ordinary dealings also, you are my friend, I am your friend; you are getting some help from me, I am getting some from you. So we are debtors, obligation. Devarṣi-bhūta, āpta. Āpta means relatives or family. We are indebted to the father, mother, elderly family members. In this way we are implicated with so many debts. Devarṣi-bhūtāpta-nṛṇāṁ pitṟṇām (SB 11.5.41).