Chapter-12: O My Lord, How Can We Get out of This Crazy Place?

August 11, 1996

By Indradyumna Swami

7:00 a.m. Today is the sixth day of our isolation from the real world. Of course, this is also the real world. According Bhagavad-gita, the material world is a place of misery.

We just listened to the news on the radio. They said that the fighting will go on for a long time. The Chechen rebels were certainly right when they said that they came “not to leave again.” The news report said that international charities are going to try to organize a humanitarian corridor through the fighting to let the local people leave.

10:30 a.m. Completed eight rounds of japa. Kalikrit gave a very interesting Srimad-Bhagavatam class.

12:00 p.m. Took prasadam. We are running out of bhoga. Chanted eight more rounds. How difficult it is to control the mind! My mind is getting more and more restless due to the uncertainty of the situation and the enforced inactivity.

1:35 p.m. Some local residents who were passing by told us that Chechen fighters now occupy the state-controlled food stores and have opened them for everyone who needs food. It reminds me of the activities of the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution of 1917. All this pseudo charity is done for gaining cheap popularity. Because we have practically nothing left to eat, we sent a few devotees to get some bhoga. The devotees returned sometime later with a big bag of spaghetti and three cases of cheap Italian butter.

8:25 p.m. We were unable to leave this place today because the fighting is so intense in the area. I laughed at myself because I am now able to identify a weapon by the sound of the missile that it has shot.

For the safety of the van, I again separated a few parts from the engine and took off the front wheel.

9:40 p.m. This note is the last one for today. We ran out of candles, and I’m writing these lines under the lights from the van. Tomorrow is exactly one week since the fighting for control of the city began. I feel like running away somewhere just to be engaged in some active service.

Sergey said that he heard the voice of Madana-mohana dasa on  a radio broadcast, and Madana-mohana expressed his concern regarding the lost group of Food for Life devotees in Grozny. O my Lord, how can we get out of this crazy place? We are just eating and sleeping here. I wonder why on earth we returned the Merlin mini- radio we used to have before? And we did it just three days before the fighting started. We could have used it to contact the outside world.