Diary of a Traveling Monk

Volume 2, Part 2, Chapter 6

 

Sunday October 20,1996

 

The Courage of the Devotees in Chechnya

By Indradyumna Swami

I have reserved today, Sunday, for meeting my disciples. I haven’t seen some of them for almost two years. One of the disciples who came was Tribunga Sundara dasa, who had just returned to Vladivostok from Grozny, the capital of the Republic of Chechnya.

Chechnya, officially part of the Russian Federation, recently attempted to become an independent country with the result that a war was fought for months in and around Grozny between Russian troops and Chechen rebels.

Tribunga Sundara was part of a small team of ISKCON devotees who had been distributing prasadam in Grozny before the war and had only recently escaped the fighting when the Chechen rebels retook control of the capital. There were many devotees to see, so we couldn’t speak for long, but Tribunga Sundara left his diary with me.

When I finished seeing my disciples, it was late, and I prepared to take rest. I picked up the diary, but after reading it for a few moments I couldn’t put it down. I include several days of Tribunga Sundara’s diary here in my own diary to share with readers the faith and courage of the Food for Life devotees in Chechnya:

 E x c e r p t s  f r o m T r i b u n g a  S u n d a r a ’ s D i a r y