In the present world of trial, any man or woman, to be eligible for Paradise, needs to have two qualifications: one is to acknowledge truth of the One God, while He is still unseen and the other is to lead a principled life based on the principles of life laid down by Him. Those men and women who qualify in this test will be given a place in Paradise – where all their desires will be fulfilled. For those who fail in this test, they shall spend their lives in a state of eternal deprivation.
In the present world, man finds himself totally free. However, this freedom does not belong to him as a matter of right, but is rather a test paper. What man has to do is to acknowledge the truth of One God, and surrender to him – not by compulsion but by his own choice. This surrendering before the truth of One God is without doubt the greatest sacrifice that any man can make. Acknowledging the truth of One God is, like making oneself smaller not only to God but to others as well. But this is the very virtue, which will raise man to the highest position. It will take him to the very entrance of Paradise.
The second important thing in this set of requirements is to lead a principled life. Generally what happens is that man’s character is moulded by his emotions – anger, revenge, jealousy, hatred, rivalry, etc. These are the negative feelings that shape man’s personality. But what man ought to do is to become disciplined in such matters. He should not build his character under the influence of external incentives, but by his own decisions he should establish it on the basis of higher principles. This is what is called as divine character.
The people of paradise will, therefore, be the souls who have discovered God, and whose greatest concern is the Almighty. They submit only the one God, and devote their lives to improving their intellectual and spiritual abilities to a high degree. They have shunned the life of falsehood and adhered steadfastly to the way of truth, staying away from hypocrisy and remaining resolutely on the path of sincerity. They have adopted the path of honesty throughout their lives; and have, of their own, imposed the divine discipline upon their words and deeds. They reserve their feelings of love and fear exclusively for God.
Their life and death is for truth. They do not live their lives for anything less than the higher cause. Their activities are ‘hereafter’-oriented rather than this world-oriented. They succeed in steering clear of all negative feelings such as hatred, jealousy, prejudice, selfishness and other such shallow thinking, and raise themselves to the highest moral level. They associate themselves with people for the sake of truth and distance themselves likewise for the sake of truth. They give and take for God alone. Their lips open for the truth alone. They follow the way of forgiveness and not of revenge in this world and do not embroil themselves in the attractions of the world, but fix their gaze on the Hereafter in all situations.
Those who discover the Higher Being, that is God, and who are able to turn their natural potential to good account; who are able to awaken their spirituality to such a high degree that they can receive the realization of the Hereafter in the present world itself. While living in this world, they live a God-oriented life and thus become inhabitants of the world of paradise on the conscious plane. They are physically in this world, but psychologically they are in the world of the Hereafter.
Who will qualify for paradise? It will be those pure souls who in their life before death, came up to the standard of the citizenship of paradise, who will be granted an abode in this perfect world of paradise: a perfect world of eternal comforts and pleasures. Perhaps it is this divine plan, which has thus been alluded to by Jesus Christ in these words:
“Pray to God in these words: Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew: chapter 6)