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Editor's note: See Mahatma Coatanandbag's glowing praise of this poem.

Subject: Journey's End
From: Larkin
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Oct 14, 1999 at 18:15:33 (EDT)
Email Address: larkin@redcrow.demon.co.uk

Journey's End

Our yearning was born of Utopian vision
A dream of transcending our world-weary pain
To quench our long thirst in an infinite ocean
To bathe in a downpour of heavenly rain
No inner-growth pastime or limpid revision
Nor part-time diversion that lightens the day
But the toxic enchantment of boundless devotion
One Master, One Message, One Knowledge, One Way...

Our faith it was formed by a child sent to guide us
His words we were groomed and enticed to believe
Like lambs to the shepherd (or else to the slaughter)
What higher ambition was left to achieve?
His Grace was the spark of the fire inside us
We'd nothing to lose; there was nothing to pay
But respect - or a peck on the guru's hindquarters
One Master, One Message, One Knowledge, One Way...

Our Lord had descended - the Lord of creation
Lord of all applewhites, Lord of all joy
No Hubbard or Osho or Moonie pretender
Believe it - we've found us the real McCoy
To simply surrender and know your salvation
For realisation will follow one day
Meanwhile, let's keep him pavilioned in splendour
One Master, One Message, One Knowledge, One Way...

Our Master was born to a sacred succession
Unbroken through time over long centuries
T'was never quite told how the damn thing got going
It must have been when we came down from the trees
They'd ironed the kinks in this perfect procession
The rival contenders no longer at play
You can only have one guy bestowing the Knowing
One Master, One Message, One Knowledge, One Way...

Our friendships were forged in dysfunctional units
The ashrams, communities playing their part
We cooed and we cared, throwing spiritual poses
But as for each other - well who gave a fart?
We screamed 'Bhole Shri' as he danced in his tunic
We squandered our youths and expended our pay
A travelling army with tongues up our noses
One Master, One Message, One Knowledge, One Way...

Our fears they were formed on Day 1 of our journeys
Those niggling worms of discomfort and doubt
But denial (not the river) and faith in the giver
Were more than sufficient to keep them locked out
As rival Rawats had to call in attorneys
And carve up the kingdom, both craving the praise
As Prem turned to heavy abuse of his liver
Two Masters, One Message, One Knowledge, Two Ways...

Our doubts were compounded by old Bobby Mishler
And eyewitness tales of conspicuous greed
The indolent drunkenness, ladies of pleasure
(So that's what he meant about 'planting the seed...')
Was this the true heir of Lords Rama and Krishna -
Don't 'do as I do', merely 'do as I say'..?
Is this man the source of the ultimate treasure:
One Master, One Message, One Knowledge? - No way...

Our realisation took time in gestation
But realise we did - not a moment too soon.
And that was my story - I'm sorry to bore ye -
But listen - you might as well bark at the moon
As sign up with this cult and its sly operation
And that is as much as I wanted to say
And as for that fraud still engorged with his glory
- It's thank you for nothing, farewell and good day...

90-100: As good as Sex Pistols God Save the Queen or Howl
80-89: Good beat, easy to dance to
70-79: Better than Blue Aquarius
60-69: As good as One Foundation
Less than 60: Worse than Maharaji's music or poems