In religion, paradise is a place of exceptional happiness and delight. Paradisiacal notions are often laden with pastoral imagery, and may be cosmogonical or eschatological or both, often compared to the miseries of human civilization: in paradise there is only peace, prosperity, and happiness. Paradise is a place of contentment, a land of luxury and fulfillment containing ever-lasting bliss. Paradise is often described as a "higher place", the holiest place, in contrast to this world, or underworlds such as Hell.
In eschatological contexts, paradise is imagined as an abode of the virtuous dead. In Christianity and Islam, Heaven is a paradisiacal relief. In old Egyptian beliefs, the underworld is Aaru, the reed-fields of ideal hunting and fishing grounds where the dead lived after judgment. For the Celts, it was the Fortunate Isle of Mag Mell. For the classical Greeks, the Elysian fields was a paradisiacal land of plenty where the heroic and righteous dead hoped to spend eternity. In Buddhism, paradise and the heaven are synonymous, with higher levels available to beings who have achieved special attainments of virtue and meditation. In the Zoroastrian Avesta, the "Best Existence" and the "House of Song" are places of the righteous dead. On the other hand, in cosmogonical contexts 'paradise' describes the world before it was tainted by evil.
In the apocryphal Apocalypse of Moses, Adam and Eve are expelled from paradise (rather than Eden) after the Fall of man, having been tricked by the serpent. After the death of Adam, the Archangel Michael carries Adam's body to be buried in Paradise, in the Third Heaven.
Many early Christians identified Abraham's bosom with paradise, where the souls of the righteous go until the resurrection of the dead; others were inconsistent in their identification of paradise, such as St. Augustine, whose views varied.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe, from their interpretation of the Book of Genesis, that God's original purpose was, and is, to have the earth filled with the offspring of Adam and Eve as caretakers of a global paradise. However, Adam and Eve rebelled against God's sovereignty and were banished from the Garden of Eden, driven out of paradise into toil and misery.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that disobedient and wicked people will be destroyed by Christ at Armageddon and those obedient to Christ will live eternally in a restored earthly paradise. Joining the survivors will be the resurrected righteous and unrighteous people who died prior to Armageddon. The latter are brought back because they paid for their sins by their death and/or because they lacked opportunity to learn of Jehovah's requirements before dying. These will be judged on the basis of their post-resurrection obedience to instructions revealed in new "scrolls". They believe that resurrection of the dead to paradise earth is made possible by Christ's blood and the ransom sacrifice. This provision does not apply to those whom Christ as Judge deems to have sinned against God's holy spirit.
One of Jesus' statements before he died were the words to a man hanging alongside him, "you will be with me in Paradise."[Luke 23:43] The New World Translation places a comma after the word 'today', dividing it into two separate phrases, "I tell you today" and "you will be with me in Paradise". This differs from standard translations of this verse as "I tell you today you will be with me in Paradise". Based on scriptures such as Matthew 12:40, 27:63, Mark 8:31 and 9:31, Witnesses believe Jesus' expectation that he would be bodily resurrected after three days precluded his being in paradise on the same day that he died.
In Latter Day Saint theology, paradise usually refers to the spirit world, the place where spirits dwell following death and awaiting the resurrection. In that context, "paradise" is the state of the righteous after death. In contrast, the wicked and those who have not yet learned the gospel of Jesus Christ await the resurrection in spirit prison. After the universal resurrection, all persons will be assigned to a particular kingdom or degree of glory. This may also be termed "paradise".
Other instances where paradise is mentioned in the Qur'an includes descriptions of springs, silk garments, embellished carpets and women with beautiful eyes. These elements can also be seen as depicted within Islamic art and architecture.
The Qur'an contains multiple passages in which paradise, or 'Jannah', is referred to. The Holy Book contains 166 references to gardens, of which nineteen mention 'Jannah', connoting both images of paradise through gardens, water features, and fruit-bearing trees. Scholars are unable to confirm that certain artistic choices were solely intended to reflect the Qur'an's description of paradise, since there are not extensive historical records to reference to. However, many elements of Islamic art and architecture can certainly be interpreted as being intended to reflect paradise as described in the Qur'an, and there are particular historical records which support a number of case studies in this claim.
Historical evidence does support the claim that certain Islamic garden structures and mosaics, particularly those of Spanish, Persian and Indian origins, were intended to mirror a scene of paradise as described in the Qur'an.
The structural layout of the gardens of the Alhambra in Grenada, embodies the idea of water as a symbol of representing paradise within Islamic gardens. In particular, the Courtyard of the Lions, which follows the Quarter Garden, or the 'Chahar-Bagh' layout, typical to Islamic gardens, features a serene water fountain at its centre. The fountain is carved with stone lions, with the water emerging from the mouths of these lions. The static nature of the locally sourced water features within the Courtyard of the Lions at the Alhambra, adds to the atmosphere of serenity and stillness which is typical of Islamic gardens that utilise water features, resembling the image of paradise as found in the Qur'an.
There is not yet concrete evidence that Islamic gardens were solely intended to represent images of paradise. However, it can be deduced from certain inscriptions and intentions of structures, that creating an atmosphere of divinity and serenity were part of the artists' intentions.
Upon the exterior of the tomb mausoleum of the Taj Mahal, inscriptions of passages from the Qur'an adorn the exterior facades, encasing the iwans. These inscriptions rehearse passages of an eschatological nature, referencing the Day of Judgement and themes of paradise. Similarly, the placement of the tomb structure within the waterscape garden environment heightens the conceptual relationship between tomb gardens and a place of paradise as discussed in the Qur'an. Similarly, the white marble used for the construction of the tomb mausoleum, furthers the relationship between the purity and divinity of the tomb, elevating the status of the tomb to that of paradise.
Constructed between 690 and 692, the Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem features a large-scale mosaic on the interior of the domed structure. It is likely that this richly embellished and detailed mosaic was intended to replicate an image of paradise, featuring fruit-bearing trees, vegetal motifs and flowing rivers. Accompanied by a calligraphic frieze, the mosaic depicts symmetrical and vegetal vine scrolls, surrounded by trees of blue, green and turquoise mosaics. Jewel-like embellishments as well as gold pigment complete the mosaic. Not only did mosaics of this kind seek to reflect paradise as described in the Qur'an, but they were also thought to represent and proclaim Muslim victories.
In a similar instance, the mosaic within the Great Mosque of Damascus, constructed within a similar timeframe to the Dome of the Rock, features the most noticeable elements of a paradisiacal garden as described in the Qur'an. Therefore, it would not be unreasonable to suggest that the mosaic on the exterior facade of the Great Mosque of Damascus, was similarly intended to replicate an image of paradise in the viewer's mind.
Paradise is famous for its glorious views and wildflower meadows. When James Longmire's daughter-in-law, Martha, first saw this site, she exclaimed, "Oh, what a paradise!" The park's main visitor center, the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center, is located in the upper parking area. Paradise is also the primary winter-use area in the park, receiving on average 643 inches (53.6 feet/16.3 meters) of snow a year. Winter activities include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding. The road between Longmire and Paradise is plowed, but closes at night during the winter. See the current Road Status for updated information about park roads. Paradise is located 19 miles (30 km) east of the Nisqually Entrance and 12 miles (19 km) east of Longmire.
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Relax and soak in the tranquility of your own luxurious private paradise villa just steps from the blue waters of the Caribbean. Our concierge is on hand to organize any of the wonderful activities the island has to offer or simply soak up more of the sumptuous views of the island from your private deck, pool and balcony. 781b155fdc