Mumbai: Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao has condoled the demise of spiritual leader Dada J P Vaswani, saying he was an ambassador of peace and goodwill.
Vaswani, head of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission, died in Pune today due to old age-related ailments. He was 99.
The governor said he had the privilege of meeting Vaswani very recently.
"I am deeply saddened to know about the demise of Dada Vaswani, barely a few days ahead of his 100th birth anniversary," Rao said in a statement issued here.
The governor said Vaswani was one of the most erudite, universally respected and inspiring spiritual leaders he had ever met.
Vaswani epitomised the values of universal brotherhood, peace and compassion and through his discourses, writings and public service, he encouraged millions of people in India and abroad to lead a meaningful life, he said.
Through the Sadhu Vaswani Mission, he brought happiness and hope in lives of the poor and the under- privileged. Dada Vaswani also championed the cause of compassion and love for animals, he said.
"In his demise, the state of Maharashtra has lost an ambassador of world peace and goodwill," Rao said.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, in his condolence message, described Vaswani as an ambassador of humanity and said his discourses on brotherhood and peace inspired many.
"The works done by him through the Vaswani Mission are of great importance and the books written by him will inspire the young generation for years to come," he said.
Minister of State for Social Justice Dilip Kamble said Vaswani touched lives of millions through his works.
"He will always be with us through his messages and thoughts," Kamble said in his message.
Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan also condoled the spiritual leader's demise.
"Sad to hear about the demise of Dada Vaswani, head of Sadhu Vaswani mission, a spiritual teacher who spent his whole life for giving the message of peace and humanity. My heartfelt condolences," Chavan said in a tweet.