Udayananda: The day after Srila Prabhupada gave me brahman initiation was the first morning that I said my gayatri mantra, and I thought, "I'll go down to Lake Michigan and when the sun starts rising, I'll say my gayatri mantra." We were in Evanston and there was a nice park along the lakefront. So I chanted japa there, got all set to say my gayatri mantra, and up drove the Ford Lincoln Continental. The door opened, and maybe thirty yards from me out steps His Loving Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. I said, "Jaya, Srila Prabhupada!" and I offered my obeisances, but Prabhupada's back was to me. All these sannyasis were there; Brahmananda, Satsvarupa, and when everyone was ready Prabhupada turned and started walking right towards me. I hadn't even memorized the gayatri mantra yet, and I was saying it as Prabhupada walked by. Prabhupada said, "Why is he not offering obeisances?" I had offered obeisances, but Prabhupada's back was turned. And they said, "Prabhupada, he's chanting his gayatri mantra." I couldn't hear Prabhupada's answer, but he said, "What is the value of such chanting when the spiritual master comes by and you do not offer obeisances?" and then he walked on. I chanted my gayatri quickly and I ran to catch up with the devotees. Sudama Maharaj saw me and went to the back of the group to talk with me. I said, "Maharaj is it all right if I come?" He said, "Why didn't you offer your obeisances?" I said, "I did." He said, "When?" I said, "When Prabhupada got out of the car, I offered my obeisances." He said, "Prabhupada didn't see it," and told me what Prabhupada had said. Immediately I couldn't breathe, I was suffocating. I felt, "Oh, God, what is my worth? Why should I live another moment?" I carried that for a long time. Twenty-five years after that incident, I wrote a Vyasa-puja offering apologizing to Srila Prabhupada for committing that offense and thanking Srila Prabhupada for impregnating my heart with his few words. By his grace I was never familiar or took him lightly ever, ever again. Even though I didn't think I was taking him lightly then, but after that I redoubled my determination to appreciate what it means to be in the association of the jagat guru. His words helped me for the rest of my life. Since that time I have offered my obeisances before and after saying gayatri mantra. If I'm sitting in front of the Deities and the curtain opens and there's jagat guru sitting on the altar, I offer obeisances. Sometimes I see devotees chanting gayatri mantra when the Deities open and they don't stop chanting. I think, "What is the value of this chanting?"