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“Bhaktin Patsy kept repeating, "Sunita, think of Krishna. Sunita, think of Krishna." Sunita said, "Krishna. Prabhupada." Then left her body.”

Passing of Sunita Dasi
By Pranada Devi Dasi

Alachua, Florida

Our dear Godsister Sunita dasi, left her body yesterday around 2:30pm. Almost the entire Alachua community is deeply grieving the loss of her association. There were very few dry eyes during the morning program today. Tosana Krishna Prabhu and her three boys, Gaura-sakti, Govinda and little Naveen survive her and are feeling their great loss.

Sunita's service had been cooking for the 110 children in the charter school. Every day she served them lunch, and she would motherly try to get the children to eat the right things and take enough prasadam. Her interaction with all the children, teachers and her other Godsisters made her an especially loved member of the community. Grieving her loss will take some time for all of us.

She finished her service for the school year on Wednesday, June 6. She was very vibrant and happy yesterday. Just before Greeting of the Deities she told me she'd brought some flowers for my garden. I wanted to confirm if I should get them immediately from her car. She responded, "No, I'm here for the full program. I'm off today!"

After the morning program she set off down the Ichetucknee River with a few Godsisters. Sunita loved the river. She told devotees in the van yesterday that when she first arrived from Vrndavana and visited the Ichetucknee she thought it was a heavenly planet.

Mid-way down the river her heart attack began. She had had two heart attacks within the last year. Bhaktin Patsy, a trained nurse, was coaching her as Sunita Prabhu was in extreme respiratory distress. Bhaktin Patsy kept repeating, "Sunita, think of Krishna. Sunita, think of Krishna." Sunita said, "Krishna. Prabhupada." Then left her body.

Sunita had dreaded another heart attack. When Kosarupa and I visited her in the hospital after the second attack, she held my hand crying, "Pranada, I simply can't go through another attack like this. It is so painful and so difficult to remember Krishna." She confided her fear of failing the test at the time of her death and she also didn't want to live in a reduced manner, she wanted to keep doing active service.

Patsy had asked Sunita some weeks earlier that if she had another heart attack would she want Patsy to do CPR. Even though she did not want to live through another attack Sunita told her, "Yes, I have three children."

So Patsy spent twenty minutes trying to revive Sunita yesterday. But it was not to be. Krishna fulfilled her desire to not live in a reduced manner or live through another attack.

Her sons Gaura-sakti and Govinda were in New York with Rtadvaja Maharaja's party yesterday. Maharaja broke the news to them in Srila Prabhupada's quarters at the Radha-Govinda mandir. They are returning to Alachua today.

Because Sunita left her body outside of Alachua County while not under a doctor's supervision there are technicalities Tosana Prabhu is facing in obtaining her body. We are waiting for word when we may have the memorial services for her.

In grieving Sunita's loss many devotees are sharing memories of her. As we gather some of these memories over the next week, we'll post them for others to appreciate this very special soul. Sunita Prabhu was born a Brijbasi and was the first Indian-bodied devotee to take shelter of Srila Prabhupada.

I'll always remember Sunita Prabhu as fiercely attached to Srila Prabhupada and following his instructions. Sunita did not have an easy life, but nothing could budge her from her place at Srila Prabhupada's lotus feet. All glories to the dear soul Sunita Prabhu.

© CHAKRA 09 June 2001

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