(5 May 1945 – 14 March 2021)
Rocky (Rakesh) writes:
In the early morning, just as she left the body, I woke up with her name in my heart. Our connection of over forty years was like that – in dreams, shared friends, precious smiles, big hugs. Most notably, the bond of two shared living masters.
Masta, with whom she had her son Nityam writes: “Pragita took sannyas here in Perth I seem to remember, in ‘78. On her first visit to Pune, she got treated for yellow fever when she had hep and that shut down her renal system. Nityam and I flew out to be with her. She was the Mum of the Kids Hut. We had separated by that time and I was living god-knows-where! She was very loved by her community here in Fremantle and in Canada.”
She was second in command of No. 70 in the late seventies. Dutch Ali, my good friend who lives here in Edmonton now, says she ‘softened the blow’ when the office directives were handed down.
Australian Vimal, from that same time, agrees that she took everyone under her wing and that he felt protected by her during his first Ashram job. “Back in Perth,” he goes on to say, “she was in charge of one of the most vibrant Osho centres on the planet.”
Anupo adds, “I remember Pragita in the early Fremantle commune days. She was devoted to Osho, dynamic, really brought things together, got things done so that everything and everyone flowed beautifully.”
Her friend Diti has this to say about Pragita, from whom she had received sannyas and her mala in 1982, “For years afterwards she was my friend – in the Fremantle commune, on the Ranch and in Pune. I always felt joy and happiness with her. Looking into her eyes and her smile-so-special.”
Finally, from our mutual friend Santoshi in Byron Bay, these sweet words: “From me it is simple. Pragita brought Australia to all us Aussies, in India and the Ranch. Her smile and sparkling eyes helped you feel safe and her down-to-earthness, honesty, created trust. Pragita was so refreshing, she wore her heart on her sleeve, and she got things done. Loved seeing her around with her son Nityam.”
Fast forward one decade after Osho went celestial in 1990. I’m not consciously looking for another living master, yet one finds me and my heart is wrestled into loving surrender. Phase two begins. Pragita/Judith may have been looking more actively, as she travels from the west to the east (in Australia) to sit with Isaac Shapiro, but ends up sitting with John de Ruiter on his first trip to Australia in 2000. Like me, she is smitten and starts saving her pennies. I happen to be Canadian, so moving from India to Edmonton is a breeze (just kidding). Judith goes back and forth seeing John in Canada, Byron and Perth. Her first talk with him is in Perth, 2002.
In Edmonton, she suggests to her new friend Shirley that she start a caregivers school, and Shirley says “Okay.” Judith then goes to that school, becomes a caregiver and applies for a social security number. The government says, “No, we can’t give you a number, because you already have one.” “Oh, yes! I guess I do, from having lived in the Maritimes for a few years in my twenties.”
Canada smiles and welcomes her back. The next 16 years are lived as a nanny with appreciative children with whom she loves hanging out, in the arms of a new community, blessed to be living with another great living master.
Praveeta, Ali’s wife, who had been kissed by cancer many years ago connected more deeply with Judith when her cancer arrived. She says that while they did chat and share, it would quickly open into “a lovely depth, where we enjoyed a silent connection. The sweetness of her heart became more visible and palpable.”
Judith loved to travel, for example to visit her son Nityam and his partner Nartan, who still live in or around Pune. She also enjoyed tent camping in the abundant nature of her adopted Canada. I’m sure when her last journey in this body arrived, she was ready to go. Osho had cultivated in her the celebration of the heart, and John had established her in the depth of stillness. Two solid wings with which to soar.
Via the wonder of zoom we all got to be present at Judith’s last delicious, tender exchange with her living master, John de Ruiter, and it has been recorded for posterity. A few days later, she went into a hospice where, due to Covid restrictions, only a couple of friends were allowed access during her last days and nights. One, Susan, was there when she actually passed.
She remembers that on Tuesday Judith had suddenly asked, “Is it Saturday today?” When told it was Tuesday she said, “The party’s on Saturday, I’m going to a party on Saturday.” Late Saturday night, Susan felt a breeze in the room and felt she saw “at least two, maybe more, large wings near the ceiling.” Susan had been a nurse for over forty years, but had never experienced something of this nature. “The palliative nurses were so finely tuned to Judith’s process, that I could just relax and notice what else was going on.”
Soon after, well prepared by two masters, she was gone. Osho had given her the name Pragita, which means ‘song’, and encouraged her to drop seriousness, to live spontaneously and free like a child. She had done it. John had assured her that “you’re going to really like what’s coming.” Another time he smiled – “Whenever you die, die like the leaves on a tree. When they’ve had their time they will yellow and then leave, but the tree continues. When the time comes, let go of the leaves and be the tree, quietly bare. You have your seasons, and then there’s the next.”
See you later
See you everywhere
Alert thanks to Upchara and to Almasta for organizing.
Celebration of Life for Pragita / Judith
Looking at your pictures I remember vividly my two years at the oh so lively Fremantle commune where you were the mum. You gave me – a fairly new sannyasin getting used to a foreign country and commune life/work – such loving support. You also set an example as a leader, always loving, playful and full of creative ideas. You initiated so many projects and encouraged us all to celebrate life. I was happy to read that you found a living Master after Osho to guide you on to the silent universal Heart. In gratitude & love,
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