Pralaya (Sanskrit: प्रलय, lit.'destruction'), in Hindu cosmology, is an aeonic term for dissolution.

A Pralaya specifies different periods of time during which a non-activity situation persists, as per different formats or contexts. The word Mahapralaya stands for "Great Dissolution".[1] During each pralaya, the lower ten realms (loka) are destroyed,[2] while the higher four realms called Satya-loka, Tapa-loka, Jana-loka, and Mahar-loka are preserved. During each Mahapralaya, all 14 realms are destroyed.

In the Samkhya philosophy, one of the six schools of classical Indian philosophy, pralaya means "non-existence", a state of matter achieved when the three gunas (principles of matter) are in perfect balance. The word pralaya comes from Sanskrit meaning "dissolution" or by extension "reabsorption, destruction, annihilation or death".

Popular cultureEdit

The word pralaya appears in the Cyclops chapter of James Joyce's epic novel Ulysses.[3][4]

The Swedish black/melodic death metal band Dissection references "Mahapralaya" in their song, "Maha Kali".[5][6][7]

Swedish black/death metal band Ofermod references pralaya in their song, "Pralayic Withdrawal".[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rajarajan, R. K. K. (2020). "Water, Source of 'Genesis' and the End Macro and Micro Viṣṇu in the Hymns of the Āḻvārs". The Medieval History Journal. 23 (2): 296–331. doi:10.1177/0971945820956583. ISSN 0971-9458. S2CID 227240912.
  2. ^ B. K. Chaturvedi (2004). Shiv Purana. Diamond Pocket Books. p. 124. ISBN 8171827217.
  3. ^ Joyce, James. "The Project Gutenberg eBook of Ulysses, by James Joyce". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  4. ^ Joyce, James. "Ulysses (1922)". Wikisource. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  5. ^ Dissection: "Maha Kali", Escapi Music 2004.
  6. ^ Dissection: Reinkaos, Black Horizon Music 2006.
  7. ^ Dissection: Rebirth of Dissection, Escapi Music 2006.
  8. ^ Ofermod: Tiamtü, Norma Evangelium Diaboli 2008.