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Pralaya (Sanskrit), in Hindu cosmology, is an aeonic term for Dissolution, which 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. During each pralaya, the lower ten realms (loka) are destroyed, while the higher four realms, including 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 pra-laya comes from Sanskrit meaning 'dissolution' or by extension 'reabsorption, destruction, annihilation or death'.
Pralaya in popular culture
"Pralaya" appears in the Persona series of games (specifically Persona 3 and Persona 4) as an attack. While it can be inherited to other Personae, its original user is "Shiva", a Persona based on the Hindu deity of the same name.
The Swedish metal band, Dissection, references "Mahapralaya" in their song, "Maha Kali".