Prabhupada explains in his Vyasa-Puja address in 1972(74?), that just like in our country when there was British rule, there was a Viceroy, a king’s representative, so naturally when the Viceroy used to go to some meeting, many people used to present valuable jewels just to honor him. But the law was that the Viceroy could not touch a single jewel or contribution; it was going to the royal treasury. The Viceroy should accept all contributions on behalf of the king, all of which go to the king.
Similarly, on this day, Vyasa-Puja day, whatever honor, contribution and feeling is being offered to the spiritual master goes from downward to upward. It is, again, as we have received the knowledge from upward, similarly this respect also goes from downward to the upward. This is the process.
So the spiritual master is the teacher of the student. He has to teach the student how to send back his respect and contribution to God. In other words, whatever worship is being offered the guru accepts on behalf of Vyasadeva, on behalf of the previous acaryas, and offers this worship to them.