Home Obituary Dada Jashan Vaswani – A Scientist, Philosopher, Spiritual Leader and Great Humanist

Dada Jashan Vaswani – A Scientist, Philosopher, Spiritual Leader and Great Humanist

Dada Jashan Vaswani – A Scientist, Philosopher, Spiritual Leader and Great Humanist

Born in Hyderabad Sindh on August 2, 1918, Dada Vaswani passed away on July 12, 2018 a few weeks ahead of attaining the age of 100.

Dada Vaswani, follower of Sadhu Vaswani, had influenced the people world over and had launched World Peace Mission

What is the true definition of greatness? When we call someone a great man, do we refer to one who has achieved extraordinary success in his chosen field of endeavor? Do we bestow the title on someone who has amassed countless riches and lives in splendor? Do we mean a person with talent in the arts, academics, sports or medicine? Are we talking about someone of such exquisite physical beauty that he is the envy of all others?

The true measure of greatness lies not in these external features, but in the effect an individual has on those around him. How does the individual inspire others to behave? Does he lead by example? Is he true to his word and his principles? Does he reflect the glory of God in all he does and says? Is he a servant of the humblest of the humble? By each of these measures, Dada Jashan Pahlajrai Vaswani can be called “the greatest of the great”.

When a man of science turns to matters of the mind, he becomes, first of all, a philosopher. His broad perspective affords deeper insight into human life. Inevitably the philosopher then turns to matters of the Spirit. We either lose him somewhere along the way, or he emerges with great clarity of vision, and is hailed as a spiritual leader.

Dada JP VaswaniSuch a man was Dada Vaswani, known as J. P. Vaswani. And such was the path he had trodden. The transition from the man of science to philosopher and then spiritualist had been a progressive crystallization producing a rare jewel radiating infinite light.

He wore no ochre robes, nor sported tulsi beads. He had no Ashram, nor did he live in a Himalayan abode. Yet, people from all over the world flew in, to spend a few celestial moments in his company.

Dada Vaswani was a man of science and of religion, of wisdom and pragmatism, a man of head and heart. It was these ‘blends’ which made him so unique, so distinguished. His spiritual teachings were very simple. He emphasized ‘Nam Jap and service’. His spiritualism did not involve mental acrobatics. It was down to earth.

Born as ‘Veru’ – The Strength  

Dada Vaswani was born on 2nd August, 1918 at Hyderabad Sindh, at 2.10 p.m. It was a bright sunny day in the sizzling heat of summer of Sindh. Dada had a beautiful smile on his lips. On the sixth day, his horoscope was cast, and he was named ‘Viru’—Strength.

Dada Vaswani was the first son of his parents, — Pahlajrai and Krishna Devi. He was the third child in the family. He had 2 sisters before him, Shakuntala and Hari. He was nick named “Jashan’, a name that stuck to him permanently.

Pahlajrai worked with the Hyderabad Training College for Teachers, eventually becoming the Supervisor of all Primary Schools in Karachi. Krishnadevi, his mother, was one of the first few women to have benefited from some English education in those days.


Dada’s formal education started at the tender age of three. As Shri Pahlajrai was the supervisor of all the primary schools in Karachi, therefore, as a special case, Dada was allowed to join school unofficially at the age of three, without his name appearing on the school register.

Even as a little child, Dada was very brilliant. He took a number of double promotions and finished his primary education in three years instead of six. He completed his primary education from the T.C. Sindhi Medium School at the age of 7. A special tutor was engaged to coach Dada in the English language as Dada’s father wished that his son should now receive education in an English medium school.

Dada was admitted to the Rosary School, where, too, he excelled in academic brilliance. He received a triple promotion enabling him to join High School sooner than expected.

Dada now moved on to the St. Patrick’s School where he completed 2 years of High School, when suddenly Dada’s father passed away. The family faced severe financial crisis. Dada was again transferred to the N. J. High School (Sindhi Medium) where Shri Lilaram Bhojwani was the Headmaster.

He graduated at the young age of 17 and was awarded a fellowship at the D. J Sind College for standing first class first in the University. His M. Sc. (Physics) Thesis on “The Scattering of X-Rays by Solids” was examined by none other than the Nobel-Laureate, Dr. C.V Raman. Although Dada’s conclusions were in divergence with those of Dr. Raman, the originality of his views impressed the eminent scientist. Later, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by a Canadian university.

As a child, Dada Jashan was full of pranks. He had a psychic experience at the age of nine soon after his father died. It left an impact on his young mind. Seemingly he continued to be a joyful, mischievous child. Once Dada Jashan said, “The mathematics we learn is yet incomplete”, then he narrated his experience in the nursery class. The teacher would make the kids recite one, two, three, four, etc. This puzzled him greatly, so he asked the teacher “What comes after one and before two? What separates one from two?” Even today he smiles, as he poses the question, “There ought to be something between one and two, between point one and point two. Go and find out”.

During his college days, he often spent the night in the library, devouring books of interest, even forgetting to take his meals. Only self-effacing men of perseverance can dedicate themselves to a pursuit.  This was true of Dada Jashan who was then dedicated to books and to his Beloved Master Sadhu Vaswani.

dada jp vaswani-1Leading Spiritual Luminary

Dressed in white pyjama kurta, Dada J.P. Vaswani looked very ordinary person- a social worker, a teacher and preacher. His conversation with people around him was down to earth, pragmatic. He was a man of the masses. He liked to mingle with people. His one to one relationship with his devotees was extraordinary. There were no barriers, no walls of fear built around him.

Dada J. P. Vaswani was one of the leading spiritual luminaries of India, a practical philosopher and a modern day saint who had influenced thousands all over the world. He was a rare sage who reveres every sentient being, from flower to animal to human, under the living conviction that they are all forms of the Divine. He was the life-force at the helm of the renowned Sadhu Vaswani Mission, an international, non-profit, social welfare and service organization with its headquarters in Pune, and active centers all over the world.

A world of brilliant opportunities lay open to him, but his heart and soul were irresistibly drawn to his Master, Sadhu Vaswani. In the year 1939, he accompanied Sadhu Vaswani to the Pan Asia Conference at Ceylon, when a lucrative offer of a lecturer at D J Sind College Karachi came his way, which would avail him to also become the Principal of the College in due course. But Dada had chosen a different path for himself. The offer of a prestigious job and the prospects of a successful career no longer held charm for him. He had made a decision to take the “road less travelled”. At the young age of 21, he firmly resolved to renounce all worldly ambitions and dedicate himself completely to his guru.

A gifted writer, he had authored over 100 books, some of which have been translated in various Indian and foreign languages. Dada’s writings reveal practical tips on happy, successful, spiritual and peaceful living.

After partition of India, when he settled in Pune, he launched East West Magazine in English. He served as Honorary Principal of St. Mira College which was the only girls’ college in Pune. He was awarded honorary PhD degree by the International Academy of America on his book “The Story of Simple Man”.

An internationally acclaimed thinker and a brilliant orator, Dada, had addressed distinguished audiences worldwide. He had spoken at eminent venues including the UNO, the World Parliament of Religions – Chicago, South Africa and Melbourne, the House of Commons, London, the Global Forum Of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders on Human Survival, Oxford and Kyoto, Japan, The World Vision 2000, Washington, the World Hindu Conference, Sri Lanka and USA, the first World Parliament of Spirituality in Hyderabad and a number of other Global Forums. His philosophy encompasses the essence of every religion, presenting a universal, all-encompassing approach to various belief systems of humanity.

An educationist par excellence, he believed that the frontiers of knowledge must be saturated with true values and ideals. The byproduct of acquiring knowledge must be the creation of strong, courageous individuals who will live lives of unselfish simplicity, service and sacrifice. He believed that a new humanity, a new race, thereby a new world order can only be built by investing in a value–based education.

Awards and honors had been heaped on Dada – the U Thant Peace Award, Sant Shree Dnyaneshwara World Peace Prize and the World United Lifetime Achievement Award, among others.

The cities and towns in the five continents had opened their gates and hearts to welcome this man of God and his message of love. But Dada J. P. Vaswani had remained what he always was – the very picture of simplicity, humility, love and compassion.

Dada had travelled all over the globe, in the spirit of a pilgrim carrying his Master’s message of love and compassion, peace and brotherhood to all people – Dubai and China, Japan and Ecuador, Spain and Nigeria, Melbourne and Jakarta, Singapore and Switzerland – wherever he had gone, he had conquered hearts with his utter humility and unconditional love.

dada-vaswani1- Modi- in 2016
Indian Premier Modi had called on Dada Vaswani in 2016

Dada Vaswani initiated The Moment of Calm – a global peace initiative. World over, people observe two minutes of silence on 2 August (his birthday) and choose to forgive one and all. Spiritual leaders, like Dalai Lama have spread the initiative. Now the August 2 is celebrated as a Global Forgiveness Day. On August 2 at 2 pm, young and old alike, across continents, observe the Moment of Calm by forgiving all those who have wronged them.

Forgiveness, Dada always said, is the golden key to peace. It is a bridge over which one can get to any human heart. Never does a man stand so tall as when he forgives an injury and pardons a revenge.

Watch the Video: Dada Vaswani and Dalai Lama in a program 

He was a non-sectarian spiritual leader. He also promoted vegetarianism and animal rights. He was the Spiritual Head at the Sadhu Vaswani Mission founded by his Guru, Sadhu Vaswani. The Mission, a non-profit organization headquartered in Pune, India, and has centers around the world. Sadhu Vaswani Center had also been established in Accra.

“Secularism does not favor one god over another, rather manifests as a belief in a supreme power present in all humanity”, said spiritual leaders Dalai Lama and Dada J P Vaswani , as they came together on one stage in July 2013 as part of the weeklong celebrations of Dada Vaswani’s 95th birthday.

Last years of life

Vaswani’s health began to decline in May 2010, when at the age of 91, he fell and fractured his hip while playing ping-pong with children in Panama. He never fully recovered from the injury and was confined primarily to a wheelchair the rest of his life. After several days in a Pune hospital for undisclosed ailments, Vaswani returned to his mission and died on 12 July 2018. He died three weeks shy of his 100th birthday.


Source: Speaking Tree, Sindhi Shaan, Times of India, Indian Express, Wikipedia and other websites