ISKCON scientist Sadaputa Dasa, also known as Richard L. Thompson, passed away on September 18th, 2008. His body was found at the bottom of his swimming pool at his home in Alachua, Florida, USA, on Thursday afternoon.
A longtime friend of the family, Mother Nancy, said that he had suffered a heart attack, a condition there has been some history of in his family.
The news comes as a blow to many devotees in ISKCON, both those who were his personal friends, and those who were inspired by his brilliant work.
Sadaputa was born in Binghamton, New York, in 1947. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics from Cornell University, where he specialized in probability theory and statistical mechanics.
He was one of the Hare Krishna movement's foremost thinkers, having written many well-known volumes such as Forbidden Archeology, Alien Identities, and Mysteries of the Sacred Universe. He also wrote many articles for scientific journals and for Back To Godhead, the magazine of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He was a central figure of the Bhaktivedanta Institute, ISKCON’s scientific branch, and ISKCON’s founder Srila Prabhupada once praised him as a “real mahatma,” or great soul.
ISKCON Alachua temple president Chaturatma Dasa says, “A lot of devotees are quite shocked, because in this past two months, we’ve had four devotees pass away in this community. And a fifth, Sundara Rupa Prabhu, is in intensive care on life support right now. It’s making us all consider the spiritual life lessons we learn as devotees much more deeply.”
Sadaputa is survived by his wife Devamrita Dasi, daughter Sri-Radha, and two sons Vrindavan-Priya and Govinda. A memorial service will be held at his home on Saturday September 20th at 4pm. It will be followed by a fire ceremony offered in his honor, after which prasadam will be served to all attending devotees.
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