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 with 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 belief. 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 adherents hoped the heroic and righteous dead would 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.
The concept is a theme in art and literature, particularly of the pre-Enlightenment era. John Milton's Paradise Lost is an example of such usage.