It is very interesting to study the lives of the great in the world. We find that some great people have almost arrived at the fulfillment of their undertakings and just before they had reached the goal they have lost it; and there have been some great people who have attained the ultimate success in whatever they have undertaken. You will always find that the souls of the former kind are the ones who were gifted with great power and yet lacked faith, while the others were gifted with the same power, and that power was supported by faith.
A person may have all the power there is, all the wisdom and inspiration, but if there is one thing lacking, which is faith, he may attain to ninety-nine degrees of success and yet may miss that very one whose loss in the end takes away all that was gained previously. There is a saying in English, ‘all’s well that ends well’, as the Eastern people say in their prayers, ‘make our end good’; for if there be a difficulty just now we do not mind, because there will be success, the real success, in its completion.
It is in this outlook that we can find the secret of the idea of Paradise, the paradise which has been spoken of by the elevated souls of all times, and in all scriptures you will find a reference to paradise is a hope in the hereafter, a hope in the future.
When someone finds that there is no justice to be found in life, or beauty is lacking, or wisdom is not to be found anywhere, and goodness is rare, then he begins to think that justice must exist somewhere; all beauty, wisdom, goodness must be found somewhere, and that is in paradise. He thinks, ‘It exists somewhere. I shall find it one day; if not in this life, I shall find it in the hereafter; but there is a day when the fulfillment of my hope, my desire, will come.‘ This person lives; and this person lives to see his desire fulfilled. For in reality the lack that one finds in a person, in a thing, in an affair, in a condition, will not always remain. For all will be perfect, all must be perfect; it is a matter of time. And it is towards that perfection that we are all striving, and the whole universe is working towards the same goal. It is in that perfection that the thinkers and the great ones of all times have seen their paradise, because through man it is God who desires. Therefore it is not the desire of man; it is the desire of God, and has its fulfillment.