THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS
Published in 1678, the book , is an allegory. It is a religious novel depicting the passage of the protagonist of the book, Christian, from the city of destruction to the celestial city. The inspiration and the impression of the book is biblical. The Holy Bible has inspired countless writers across the globe in kindling their creativity and imagination. The Pilgrim’s Progress from this world to that which is to come is the result of inspirational and spiritual experiences of the author, a puritan preacher, John Bunyan . This book is an all time great having been in print ever since its publication and with a wide reach of all continents of the world. It tells the vainglorious life on this earth and urges all to take a pilgrimage to the celestial city of immortal bliss. In fact it has been a competitor with the Bible itself in the matter of the number of copies for distribution. The mad rush and sick hurry of the materialistic world stalks human soul’s liberation from desires and needs. The style of writing is conversational and the author easily communicates with the reader. Yes, it is a quintessential work “to be chewed and digested.”
THE AUTHOR’S APOLOGY
“This book is writ in such a dialect As may the minds of listless men affect:
It seems a novelty, and yet contains Nothing but sound and honest gospel strains.
Wouldst thou divert thyself from melancholy? Wouldst thou be pleasant, yet be far from folly? Wouldst thou read riddles, and their explanation? Or else be drowned in thy contemplation? Dost thou love picking meat? Or wouldst thou see A man i'the clouds, and hear him speak to thee? Wouldst thou be in a dream, and yet not sleep?
Or wouldst thou in a moment laugh and weep? Hi wouldest thou lose thyself and catch no harm,
And find thyself again without a charm?
Wouldst read thyself, and read thou knowest not what? And yet know whether thou art blest or not, By reading the same lines? Oh,then come hither, And lay my book,thy head,and heart together.
THE PILGRIM’S PROGRESS
As I walked through the wilderness of this world I lighted on a certain place where was a den;and I laid me down in that place to sleep:and as 1slept I dreamed a dream. I dreamed,and behold I saw a man clothed with rags,standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a Book in his hand,and a great burden upon his back. (Isa.lxiv.6; Lukexiv.34;Psa.xxxviii.4.) I looked,and saw him open the Book, and read therein; and, as he read, he wept and trembled ; and not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, "What shall I do?" (Acts li. 37.)
In thisplight, therefore, he went home and refrained him self as long as he”
Centuries before John Bunyan wrote this book ,Lord Buddha felt like this in renunciation mood keeping the focus of his mind away from the worldly pleasures. Still further back in history Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita taught us the eternal value of renunciation. The Theory of the Law of Conservation of Knowledge tells that all fundamental thinking is done long back for those who come later to restate and cogitate only.
“Age cannot wither her;
nor custom stale her infinite variety”.
These are the immortal words of William Shakespeare on Queen Cleopatra’s beauty. Works graded as classics are like that. Their charm never fades.We can accept Jhon Bunyan and his book ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ in that category.