29 September 2002
Swamishri and religious leaders seated on stage on the podium of the main monument
The condolence prayer meeting organized in the presence of Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj was held at Akshardham, Gandhinagar on the evening of 29th September from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. The other spiritual leaders present were Pujya Mangalanandji of Gita Mandir, Pujya Hariprakash Swami of Gandhinagar Gurukul, Pujya Anandpriya Swami of Kumkum, Maninagar, Pujya Madhavpriya Swami of Rajkot Gurukul, Shri Ramdasji of Karamsad, Shri Keshavbhavani Maharaj of Nadiad, Shri Rameshwardasji of Jagannath Mandir, Swami Atmanandji of Koba, representatives of Swami Purushottampriyadasji of Maninagar Swaminarayan Sampraday, Shri Vaishnavacharya Vrajeshkumarji, etc.
Views of the audience seated in the condolence assembly
Also present were the Governor Shri Sunder Singh Bhandari, Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi, ex-Chief Minister Shri Keshubhai Patel, Leader of Opposition Shri Amarsinh Chaudhary, Speaker of State Legislative Assembly Shri Dhirubhai Shah and the Ahmedabad Mayor Shri Himmatsinh Patel.
The prayer assembly commenced with devotional prayers sung by sadhus for the peace of the departed souls, grieving relatives and all sympathisers.
Then the entire gathering observed a 2-minute silent prayer for the deceased and injured, and for harmony.
Swamishri blesses the condolence assembly In his blessings Swamishri said, "What has happened has caused much pain. Everyone feels this anguish. We have offered peace prayers for the departed souls and that their families be blessed with inner strength to bear this loss. We have also prayed for the speedy recovery of those injured... There has always been a conflict between good and evil forces, and ultimately it is the good that triumphs. God dispenses justice to all according to their actions. Let us pray that all are blessed with virtuous thoughts... Prayer is a spiritual weapon. Gandhiji gained much strength from prayer. My Guru Yogiji Maharaj encouraged people to pray in order to overcome their personal, family and social difficulties… Our happiness does not lie in the misery of others but it lies in the joy of others and in the progress of others…"
Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami delivers the vote of thanks to all who helped and sent messages of condolence
Thereafter, Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami, on behalf of BAPS, offered his condolences to those who died and delivered a vote of thanks to all those who had assisted in the rescue operation. He thanked Pramukh Swami Maharaj for his guidance and support, all religious and spiritual leaders, politicians and bureaucrats, the NSG commandoes, the SRP commandoes, BSF, CRPF, CISF, doctors and staff at the Civil Hospital, NGOs, blood donors, the fire brigade, and everyone who had offered their support. Pujya Ishwarcharan Swami specially remembered Pujya Parmeshwar Swami and the four BAPS volunteers who died during the incident, and also thanked the many brave volunteers who saved many lives at their own risk. He also declared that though nobody can compensate the family of the dead for their great loss, but as a token of our condolences and appreciation, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha will be donating:
Rs. 300,000 for the family of the deceased NSG Commando Subedar Suresh Kumar Yadav
Rs. 200,000 each for the families of deceased State Commandos Shri Arjun Singh Gameti and Shri Allah Rakha Unadjam
Rs. 200,000 for the injured NSG Commando Shrujan Singh
Rs. 100,000 for the 29 families of the pilgrims who died
Rs. 25,000 for each of the injured jawans
Compensation for the injured pilgrims
Swamishri and spiritual leaders offer mantra pushpanjali amidst Vedic chantings in respect to those who died in the carnage
At the conclusion of the assembly, all 30,000 present offered mantra pushpanjali and performed a mass Arti to God in respect of all those who died in the Akshardham carnage.
Thereafter, Swamishri met and blessed the relatives of the deceased.