Pune: Sadhu J.P. Vaswani, an eminent spiritual leader, philosopher and philanthropist of the Sindhi community, died here on Thursday following a brief illness, an official spokesperson said.
“Dadaji breathed his last at 9.01am today. He was 99. His body has been kept for public display at his ashram, Sadhu Vaswani Mission,” the spokesperson said.
He was admitted to a private hospital here a few days ago for treatment of age-related issues and had been discharged on Wednesday.
Vaswani passed away amid mega-plans for his 100th birthday on August 2, which his devotees from all over the world were expected to attend.
Born on August 2, 1918, to a Sindhi couple Pahlajrai and Krishnadevi Vaswani of Hyderabad in the undivided India, Dada Vaswani — as he was revered by the community — was one among seven children, three sisters and four brothers.
He headed the Sadhu Vaswani Mission — founded by his uncle and spiritual guru, the late Sadhu T.L. Vaswani in Hyderabad (Sindh, Pakistan) in 1929, which has now branched out all over the world.
Following his demise in 1966, Sadhu J.P. Vaswani was anointed his successor and he carried forward the legacy of his guru’s mission globally.
A proponent of world peace, vegetarianism, girls’ education, and compassion for the poor, among others, Sadhu Vaswani addressed the British House of Commons in London, Global Forum of Spiritual Leaders in Oxford, World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Millenium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the UN, and the Parliament of World Religions in South Africa.
He initiated a global peace initiative — The Moment of Calm, when people observe two-minutes of silence to forgive everybody, on August 2, with eminent personalities like the Dalai Lama joining in.
Among various national and international honours conferred on Sadhu Vaswani were the U Thant Peace Award in 1998, jointly with Pope John Paul II.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani was a familiar face at the Pune Mission, while President R.N. Kovind had inaugurated the Sadhu Vaswani International School here in May, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed Sadhu Vaswani’s 99th birthday celebrations last year through a video conference.