Oh God Almighty, may there be peace in the heavens,
May there be peace on earth,
May the waters be at rest,
May herbs be wholesome, and may trees and plants bring peace to all,
May there be peace among the Gods,
May thy Vedic Law propagate peace all through the world,
May all things be a source of peace to us,
May thy peace itself bestow peace on all and may that peace come to me also.
- Isavasya Upanishad
Pramukh Swami Maharaj envisions a world without war and strife, and he has materialized this vision through the organization’s work and activities. BAPS holds a Vishwashanti Maha Yagna, or World Peace Sacrifice Prayer, several times per year, with festivals and major events such as the inauguration of a mandir or cultural complex being preceded by this invocation of peace. This prayer from the Isavasya Upanishad is fulfilled through the activities of the organization and is personified in Pramukh Swami Maharaj. On September 24, 2002, terrorists attacked the Swaminarayan Akshardham, Gandhinagar, killing four volunteers, a sadhu, three children, six women and two armed forces personnel. Pramukh Swami Maharaj, understanding the severity of the situation, made an appeal to the public to maintain peace and pray for those that had been lost. He spoke of and demonstrated the universal Hindu values of kshama, shanti, titiksha, and daya, thus alleviating tensions and preventing an escalation to sectarian violence. His response has been credited with maintaining peace throughout the region and country, such that scholars and security personnel coined the term ‘Akshardham Response’ to describe successful, peaceful responses to terrorism.