Spiritual leader Dada JP Vaswani dies at age 99

Dada JP Vaswani, a spiritual leader who headed the Sadhu Vaswani mission, died on Thursday morning in Pune. He was 99.

"On sacred Guruvaar day, our beloved revered Dada JP Vaswani passes on, from the seen to the unseen. Ever-loving, ever-giving, may he continue to bless us from the beyond," the mission said in a statement.

The Press Trust of India reported, quoting a mission member, that Vaswani died "due to old age--related ailments." Last night, he was discharged from a private Pune hospital where he spent the past few days, and breathed his last in the mission's premises, she said.

His mortal remains have been kept at the mission, so peeple can pay their last respects. President Ram Nath Kovind said Vaswami dedicated his life "to the betterment of humanity, promoting simple living, high thinking and education". Union Minister Piyush Goyal said his death was "a major loss for society and me personally".

JP Vaswani was born in a Sindhi family on August 2, 1918, in Hyderabad in modern-day Pakistan. He was a brilliant student, but he later gave up a career in academics to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious uncle and guru, Sadhu T L Vaswani.

JP Vaswani was acclaimed as a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, orator and non-sectarian spiritual leader. The Sadhu Vaswani Mission is a non-profit organisation involved in social work and charity, and runs educational institutions and hospitals in Pune.

Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at the the spiritual leader's 99th birthday celebrations through a video link. He said Vaswani's blessings would help accomplish goals for a new India.

In May this year, President Ram Nath Kovind visited the mission to inaugurate the Sadhu Vaswani International School.

Senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani is a frequent visitor to the mission.

Inputs from PTI

WATCH | PM Modi's address at Dada Vaswani's 99th birthday celebrations (Courtesy: YouTube/NarendraModi)