Chandraswami had a kidney condition and was on dialysis. (File Photo)
Self-styled godman Chandraswami, who was a key figure in several political scandals and financial irregularities in the 1990s, has died at 66.
Reports suggest he had a kidney condition and was on dialysis.
He had also suffered a stroke recently.
Chandraswami was known to be close to politicians like former prime minister PV Narasimha Rao, and was investigated in several high profile scams.
Born Nemi Chand in 1948, he was the son of a money-lender in Rajasthan's Behror.
Chandraswami was said to have been spiritual advisor to Narasimha Rao, whose stint as prime minister from 1991 to 1996 was shadowed by allegations of corruption. The sprawling ashram in Delhi's Qutub Institutional Area where Chandraswami stayed became a symbol of his power in the capital at the time and a den of secret meetings and deals.
He also reportedly advised the Sultan of Brunei, actress Elizabeth Taylor, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and gangster Dawood Ibrahim. In 1996, he was arrested on charges of cheating a London-based businessman of $100,000.
Eight years ago, his name figured in the Rajiv Gandhi killing. The Supreme Court questioned why no action was initiated against the controversial spiritual guru if the government really suspected he funded the assassination of the former Prime Minister by LTTE.
He was ordered by the Supreme Court to pay a penalty in several Foreign Exchange Management Act violation cases registered by the enforcement directorate.