Rai - what is it?

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Paradise ... What is the word meant in the past and whether it makes sense for the modern man?What can be considered a representation of paradise?It remnants of the past, or a sign of the aspirations of the future?Who is worthy and who is able to get there?Do all religions have a concept of heaven?Briefly, we try to understand these complex issues.

Ancient World

Some scientists believe that the idea of ​​a future life, which will come after death, were still at the primitive people.This is evidenced by many of their burial.The graves often put what was thought, might need a person after death.Antique ancient peoples and tribes that inhabited Europe, is also aware of the fact that such a paradise.Champs Elysees blessed (or Elysium) - a place where there is always a spring, blowing a breeze, and there is no sorrow.However, there did not get everything, but only heroes and those who had a personal connection with the gods.Only in the late antiquity it had the idea that dedicated and righteous people can get to this nice place.

Other notions of eternal life in polytheism

Scandinavian Valhalla - a paradise for the soldiers who fell in battle heroically.During the day they feast in the heavenly courts, and at night they appease the divine virgins.But the most vivid colors of paradise described by the ancient Egyptians.Once the soul is responsible for all our sins on the court of Osiris and will be allowed to eternal life, it shall enter into the so-called field Iaru.If you look at the frescoes in the ancient Egyptian tombs, we can see that the then believers looked at death with hope, not as a cessation of existence, but as a gateway to another, better life.Beautiful flowers and elegant young men and women, tasty and plentiful food and stunning gardens - all of this can be seen in old paintings of skilful.


In Judaism, there was a different concept of what a paradise.Biblical myths tell of the blissful garden of Eden, where the first people lived.But the main condition of their happiness was ignorance.Having tasted the fruit, which allows us to distinguish between good and evil, people have lost their primary innocence.They were expelled from Eden, were forced to live in a world dominated by sin and death.The Eden is impossible to go back, it is not available to a person with knowledge.It is a lost paradise.His concept has been criticized by both the ancient philosophers and the Gnostics, who wrote about the fact that this freedom is not to consciously obey prohibitions, and to do whatever you want.Then it will be a paradise.

In Islam the religion is also a representation of the eternal life of the blessed.It expects those who have complied with all requirements and prohibitions of Allah, he was faithful and obedient.What is paradise in Islam?This set of beautiful gardens with beautiful ponds and pleasures.Critics of Islam claim that the images of paradise in the Koran too carnal, but Islamic theologians, especially today, claim that described there are symbols of representation closer to the human perception of happiness.In fact, heavenly life is impossible to describe in plain words.Home joy of the inhabitants of heaven - it is the contemplation of God.


In this paradise of religion - not the ultimate goal of existence, and the way to the highest stage of enlightenment.This is the land of eternal joy where all who called Buddha reborn to eat bliss.Having rested, they will be ready to follow the Master further.Most streams of Buddhism recognize that this land is located in the west.The founder of the religion made a vow not to reach Nirvana until all beings who were in this place, do not rush to the final enlightenment.The highest weight of the representation of paradise gives the Japanese branch of Mahayana Buddhism - amidizm.Other flow as Big and Little chariots mainly taught how to attain nirvana, and many of them are not very pay attention to this intermediate stage.Paradise in the shower - the main thing that should be accompanied by a person who chooses to abandon desire and thereby overcome suffering.

«Promised Heaven", or Paradise Regained

paradigm for the concept of Christianity is characterized by a newfound human possibilities of eternal life, which came thanks to the Savior.This is not the paradise that was the beginning, not the perfect unity of the universe, where everything is "very good" ... According to the concepts of orthodox Christianity, it was destroyed because of the fall of man, because he abused the freedom of the will.In traditional theological literature, there is a new paradise in heaven.For the majority of Christian writers who have spoken about it, a source of inspiration were visions of the prophets - Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, the Gospel parable.But the main text, which formed the idea of ​​paradise is "Revelation" of John.The image of the Heavenly Jerusalem, where there will be no sickness, no sorrow, no tears, became the main Christian symbol.He became the location of paradise.

kingdom of heaven in the traditional Christian understanding of it is associated with a happy life, which comes after death.This is the final refuge of the righteous.At the same time there are several types of views that is the kingdom of heaven.For example, it is a metaphysical and philosophical concept, which describes the kind of place where the holy, righteous and angelic ranks enjoy the contemplation of God and His presence.In theology this is called the visio beatifica.That is the vision that gives bliss.But in literature, folklore and mythology of paradise preserved image of a garden with walls decorated with precious stones and emeralds paved roads.The image of the heavenly Jerusalem as if combines the nostalgia of a lost Eden and a new eternal life.It will exist when all the old life, filled with the fear of death and suffering, will be destroyed.The kingdom of heaven - a place of bliss of the righteous and the repentant sinners who believe in Christ.

Discrepancies in representations of paradise

As in Antiquity and the Middle Ages there were views that differed from orthodox Christianity in the specification and the conceptual notion of paradise.For example, many religious dissidents, such as the Cathars believed that it is the Kingdom of Heaven, which is not of this world.They believed that paradise has no physical geographical boundaries.The sky, which we see can not be his receptacle.It is perhaps that can be a reminder of the existence of another world, the true God of creation.They believed that the visible heavens, like the earth, created another start.So, from their point of view, John the Evangelist, and says that if a person loves the world, he is the enemy of God.They were heavenly Jerusalem, according to the Epistle of St. Peter, where it is said that this will be a new earth and new heaven, where righteousness dwells.Fall of Man, according to them, was due to his departure from paradise into this world because of fraud or abuse of the devil.Therefore, people must return to the true, God's creation.This is the main difference between orthodox and heretical Christianity.The dissident understanding paradise - this is the place where we were once expelled, but where we can come back, our "heavenly homeland".The Cathars believed that man is by nature a - an angel.Paradise - this is his place of residence.He lives in this world without knowing it.But Christ showed him the way to salvation.Following the commandments and perform them, has the opportunity to attain eternal life and go to heaven.

modern religious ideas about the blissful existence of the righteous often have more symbolic than concrete.Some Protestant denominations generally reject the notion of heaven and the afterlife, while others approached the Catharism in the perception of heaven as a homecoming.