From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
By Swami Harshananda
Pralaya literally means 'dissolution of the world’.
- Nitya - Nityapralaya refers to the daily deaths of beings that are born.
- Naimittika - Naimittika pralaya is the dissolution that takes place at the end of a day of Brahmā, called ‘kalpa’ which is equivalent to 4.32 billion human years.
- Prākṛtika - The prākṛtika pralaya is the dissolution of everything into prakṛti at the end of Brahmā’s life of hundred years equivalent to 1036 human years.
- Ātyantika - Ātyantika pralaya actually refers to mokṣa or liberation wherein a jīva is liberated from trans-migratory existence.
- Sṛṣṭi means creation.
- Sthiti means preservation.
- Laya means dissolution.
- Prakṛti means the basic matrix of the universe, often identified with the māyā-power of God.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore