According to Hindu Puranas, repeated creations and dissolutions happen in a cycle. How many types of Pralayas are there according to the Puranas? What is the difference between Pralaya and Mahapralaya?

1 Answer 1


According to the Vishnu Purana there are 4 types of Pralayas:

naimittikah prakrtikastathaivatyantiko dvijah |

nityasca sarvabhutanam pralayo’yam caturvidhah ||

Vishnu Purana 1.7.38

1. Nitya Pralaya: The constant dissolution of all beings, like death that occurs daily.

2. Namittika Pralaya/Maha Pralaya: (also known as Brahma Pralaya) It occurs at the end of a Kalpa when Brahma goes into his sleep. This occurs for the same time as a Kalpa (1000 Mahayugas). A great fire consumes the Bhu, Bhuvah, and Shah Lokas.

3. Prakrutika Pralaya: Occurs at the end of Brahmas lifetime when the whole world (Brahmanda) reunites with prakriti.

4. Atyantika Pralaya: When man attains liberation he merges with Narayana.

As we can see Mahapralaya is one type of Pralaya.

Reference: https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/vishnu-purana-wilson/d/doc115942.html

  • Naimittika pralaya is maya pralaya or maha pralaya? Mar 16 at 5:49
  • 1
    @AmritenduMukhopadhyay Maha*
    – Savitr̥
    Mar 16 at 8:55
  • From your description, it seems prakritika pralaya is more destructive than naimittika pralaya. In that case, it would be more appropriate to call it mahapralaya. No? Is the mahapralaya term used anywhere? Mar 16 at 13:05

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