Most religions have taken this to be the highest state possible for man, a domain where he goes after death as a reward for his good deeds here upon earth. It is supposed to be the plane where the soul lived happily with its ‘God’ but was banished because it sinned and hence has to suffer upon earth until it can be redeemed and thereby return back to its paradise. The yogis however go much beyond this state which stands somewhere midway between our earth and the highest altitudes of the mental worlds. Of course there is still another Beyond but that will be revealed gradually to us by Sri Aurobindo.
A summit and core of all that marvellous world,
Apart stood high Elysian nameless hills,
Burning like sunsets in a trance of eve.
These are the hills of paradise described in mystical literature. They have the colour of sunset and stand as if in trance at the apex of this marvellous world.
New unsearched profundity
As if to some new unsearched profundity,
Into a joyful stillness plunged their base;
Their slopes through a hurry of laughter and voices sank,
Crossed by a throng of singing rivulets,
Adoring blue heaven with their happy hymn,
Down into woods of shadowy secrecy:
Lifted into wide voiceless mystery
Their peaks climbed towards a greatness beyond life.
These hills seemed to have plunged their base into some deep and profound joyous stillness. Their slopes with rivulets seemed as if some song of laughter was running through them. Their peaks seemed to be adoring the skies and lifting a hymn towards a greater Life. All around them were woods as if holding within their shades some profound and voiceless mystery.
The shining Edens of the vital gods
Received him in their deathless harmonies.
Aswapati entered this shining Eden of the vital gods who received him in their world of deathless harmonies.
Perfection within boundaries
All things were perfect there that flower in Time;
Beauty was there creation’s native mould,
Peace was a thrilled voluptuous purity.
All things found there were perfect within the boundaries of Time. All things were beautiful. Even peace thrilled the being with pure pleasure.
Curing the antithesis
There Love fulfilled her gold and roseate dreams
And Strength her crowned and mighty reveries;
Desire climbed up, a swift omnipotent flame,
And Pleasure had the stature of the gods;
Dream walked along the highways of the stars;
Sweet common things turned into miracles:
Overtaken by the spirit’s sudden spell,
Smitten by a divine passion’s alchemy,
Pain’s self compelled transformed to potent joy
Curing the antithesis twixt heaven and hell.
Love was a rose-gold dream and Strength a crowned mighty reverie. Even desire and pleasure were raised to pure and sublime levels. Desire was no more weak and painful struggle but a spontaneous and swift reaching out to its desired object. Even the smallest of things were a marvel and dreams brought the touch of high and luminous states of the soul. A divine passion turned even pain into potent joy. All that is forbidden upon earth and all that is painful found their sublime truth and heavenly spirit.
It is a world of luminous force and compelling joy. It is a heaven of pleasure where all our human desires seem to be satiated in a heavenly manner.