The destination of all roads is the wineshop door.
Some are direct expressways, some wind round the seashore.
Which means that all men sometime will meet the beloved Master;
Which means that all men sometime will be put out to desert pasture.
We have been brought up on the false doctrine of green fields,
Of a small God who answers prayers and increases yields.
The petal-cheeked wineshop keeper has told us that the scriptures
Are rotten bones rotting, food for worms—not for free men their strictures.
The free men, they who have freely embraced dust dwelling,
Hold to the dogma of drink, and Grace’s whim-welling.
That this is the true teaching is proved by the fact that the world has been drowned
In one drop of the Master’s wine, and no trace of it now can be found.
However, my advice is, stick to the road by the seashore.
Delay as long as you can arrival at the wineshop door.
This advice in the final couplet is a bit of irony saying not to increase your thirst too much, not to dash off rashly on the voyage that leads to the door. There is a serious note here. Spiritual life is not a pastoral vision of kind shepherd and happy lamb. It involves ‘desert pasture’, that is, hardship and deprivation.
The scriptures are no longer the fresh nor the direct path. These words of Baba describing them are meant to highlight the wonder of a direct inspiration being once more amongst us. Baba was far from giving a blanket dismissal of sacred records of past revelations. However the free can now embrace direct the obliteration of the exoteric in a new bliss of inspiration – when they ‘have freely embraced dust dwelling’.
We should remember that responsibility, service, attention to duty, seeing God in others and disciplined life were all inseparable from the wine of Baba’s message, even though there might be moments when the world is drowned.
But a nice privilege to share in the poetry a bit of the poet’s own intoxication.