To many thousands around the world, Sadhu T.L.Vaswani is a name synonymous
with reverence for all life. Indeed, he was the living embodiment of an unsullied love that knew no bounds, an all-embracing love that included all mankind, animals and all creation. He cared deeply about the birds of the air and the animals of the earth; and he protected them whenever and however he could.
Born on 25th November 1879, in Hydrabad Sind, Sadhu Vaswani’s life was touched with a spark of divinity from a very early age. After a brilliant academic career culminating in the M.A. degree, his natural inclination lay in following the life of a fakir. But this was not consistent with the wishes of his mother. So he submitted to her will and pursued a teaching career, becoming a professor and principal of prestigious colleges in the country.
At the age of 30, he went to Berlin as one of India’s representatives to the Welt Congress, the World Congress of Religions. His speech there and his subsequent lectures in different parts of Europe aroused deep interest in Indian thought and linked many with him.
Sadhu Vaswani belonged to a time when patriotism manifested itself as a struggle for freedom from the colonial yoke. He was a freedom fighter and worked as a close associate of Mahatma Gandhi in the Satyagraha Movement. A patriot of the purest ray serene, he wrote many books which inspired specially the youth of the country to offer themselves in dedicated service of the Motherland. They include Builders of Tomorrow, My Motherland, India Arisen, Youth and the Coming Renaissance, Youth and the Nation and Awake, Young India!
Through his inspired words he enkindled the flame of patriotism in the hearts of the young. He looked at the freedom movement as something more than the ousting of the colonial ruler. To him it included the spiritual upliftment of India to free the masses from the shackles of poverty and to restore a sense of human dignity to every man.
Later, however, Sadhu Vaswani withdrew from the field of active politics and turned his attention to education, and other spheres, emphasizing that character building is nation building. With this in view, he started the “Mira Movement in Education” which has, today, its headquarters at Pune and aims at enriching students with vital truths of modern life and at the same time making them lovers of the Indian Ideal and Indian Culture.
The emphasis in this type of educational institutions is that the education is a thing of the Spirit and that the end of all knowledge is service – Service of the poor and lowly, the sad and afflicted ones.
Sadhu Vaswani’s life was, in the words of Dr. Rajendra Prasad. The then President of India, “ a saga of unassuming service, spiritual illumination and a source of inspiration to us all”. He worked on, day after day, wanting nothing for himself, seeking only opportunities to be of service to the poor, the lonely and the lost. In his efforts to bring solace to the poor, Sadhu Vaswani knew that they are as much starved of love as they are of bread. And so it is that he gave them an abundance of his love, filling thereby, a bigger void. “Not in decorated temples but in broken cottages is the Great God –wiping the tears of the poor and singing His new Gita for the New Age!”
Sadhu Vaswani was a prolific writer – the author of several hundreds of books in English and Sindhi. He was a born orator. When he spoke, he filled the hall with the rich music of his words and the richer music of his heart. He was a poet, a mystic, a sage andm in the words of Dr. Cousins, the Irish Poet, he was “a thinker and a revealer of the deep truths of the Spirit.”
Seeing the beauty of the One in the many, Sadhu Vaswani felt drawn towards all religions as he saw them as different paths to the One God.“There are so many” he said, “who can believe in only one thing at a time. I am so made as to rejoice in the many and behold the beauty of the One in the many. Hence, my affinity to many religions. In them all I see revelations of the One Spirit.”
Implanted deep in Sadhu Vaswani’s heart was reverence for all life. Every little thing he did was inspired by the Vision Cosmic. His heart bled at the cruelties inflicted upon animals day after day, for food. “Take my head,” he pleaded, “but pray stop all slaughter! This deep awareness os the need for reverence for all life, in whichever form it is manifest, formed a very essential part of Sadhu Vaswani’s teachings and has been propagated by the International Meatless Day Campaign. For the last several years, hundreds of thousands of devotees have been observing 25th Nov, Sadhu Vaswani’s birthday as Meatless Day and Animal Rights Day, expressing their shared commitment to the ideal of Reverence for all Life.
Sadhu Vaswani dropped his mortal frame on 16th Jan 1966, at the age of 86. His passing on was mourned by many. The poor whom he tended with so mch love, miss him the most. They still come to pay homage at his sacred Samadhi, at the Mission Campus in Pune. To most of his devotees, Sadhu Vaswani still lives on in every nook and corner of the Mission and in the work carried on by Dada J.P.Vaswani to whom he bequeathed his Torch.
As Others See Him
The life of Vaswaniji has been a saga of unassuming service, spiritual illumination, and source of inspiration to us all.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Ex-President of India
I have great respect for the saintly character and life of the late Sadhu T.L.Vaswani.
His life has been an example of great simplicity and utter dedication and many people in different parts of this country and elsewhere are indebted to him for the spiritual enlightenment they received from his work and writings.
Ex-President of India
To Sadhu Vaswani service was an integral part of spiritual quest.
Smt. Indira Gandhi
Ex-Prime Minister of India.
T.L.Vaswani is a saint of the first water…His mind is filled with lovely thoughts, and he possesses a wonderful gift of expression, so that his writings are a joy to read.
Henry Thomas Hamblin
Editor, The Science of Thought Review, England
For years I have admired Prof. Vaswani and his Mira Movement in Education which is doing marvelous work to bring greater understanding between the East and the West.
Dr. Maria Montessori
The only sure way to help the whole world is to move oneself along the Vaswani Bridge of Brotherhood.
Woodland Kahler, Marquis de St. Innocent
Ex-President, International Vegetarian Union, England
Vaswani is one of the most precious of God’s gifts to humanity.
Dr.James H. Cousins
Sadhu T. L. Vaswani
- Cultivate silent, and you will receive the grace of God to bear and to suffer.
- If I were asked, “What is the note universal in all religions?” I would say: “God is Love.”
- The joy of life belongs to them who serve the poor and whose hearts are pure!
- Vibrations of a man tell more than his words or “works”.