Paradise Lost (.) Paradise Regained (???)

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I am sure you must have heard, if not read, the epic poem ‘Paradise Lost’ by John Milton, a 17th century English Poet. It is one of my favourites amongst all the poems I had to read for my MA English second year exam.

Well in short, it is the story how mankind lost its permanent place in Paradise after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit as intended and tempted by the Satan disguised as the serpent.

Well, now that the fruit is eaten, here we are on the Planet Earth instead of the Garden of Eden. There are serpents everywhere, in various disguises. There seems to be no riddance from this serpent and its poison. The poison of lust, greed, envy and pride infects us from both within and out. But there is a hope for a remedy, a hope that leads to cure.

This having learnt, thou hast attained the sum 

Of Wisdom; hope no higher, though all the Stars 

Thou knew’st by name, and all th’ ethereal Powers, 

All secrets of the deep, all Nature’s works, 

Or works of God in Heav’n, Air, Earth, or Sea, 

And all riches of this World enjoy’dst, 

And all the rule, one Empire: only add 

Deeds to thy knowledge answerable, add Faith

Add Virtue, Patience, Temperance, add Love,

By name to come called Charity, the soul 

Of all the rest: then wilt though not be loth 

To leave this Paradise, but shalt possess 

A paradise within thee, happier far.

                                                          – Paradise Lost; Book XII. 575–587

In Paradise Lost, Book XII, Archangel Michael says these lines to Adam, just before Adam and Eve are led out of Paradise, while trying to explain that even though they have fallen from grace and must leave Paradise, they can still lead a fruitful life. To assure their happiness, they should live their lives by seven tenets: Obedience, Faith, Virtue, Patience, Temperance, Love and Charity. If they live their lives accordingly, they will feel as if they never left Paradise as these tenets will allow them to create an inner Paradise.

Well, here’s the antidote—leading a life by the seven tenets: Obedience, Faith, Virtue, Patience, Temperance, Love and Charity.

Again, this is common knowledge. But how many of us actually apply this to our lives?

‘Paradise Lost’ was followed by another poem ‘Paradise Regained’, where Milton tells the story of Jesus’ resistance to Satan’s temptations, thus narrating the victory of good over evil.

This victory is not fiction, but a reality.

However, today it appears more like fiction due to widespread pandemic recurrent venomous attacks of corruption, terrorism, human trafficking, child abuse, gender abuse, gender discrimination and the list goes on and on.

And with the lengthy list, the rampant attacks and the minimal efforts to eradicate this toxicity…

…Paradise Lost? – Yes, for sure.

…Paradise Regained??? – You’ve got to be kidding me.

…Ashu Bolar

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