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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Pralaya

A period of rest between Manvantaras or manifestations. It is derived from the Sanskrit words laya (from the root li “dissolve”) and the prefix pra-, “forth” or “away.” All existence, whether partly or wholly, undergo periods of activity and rest, hence there are many types of Pralayas or rest periods just as there are many types of Manvantaras.

Mah€-Pralaya or universal pralaya (also called prakti pralaya) is the total dissolution of Prakti or Nature. Hindu scriptures give the length of this period as 311,040,000,000,000 years. Other associated periods include Saurya-pralaya which refers to the dissolution of the Solar System; Bhaumika-pralaya, dissolution of the Earth; and Paurua-pralaya, human death.

J.C./V.H.C.

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