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question regarding "praLayam"

From: sampath kumar (sampathkumar_2000_at_yahoo.com)
Date: Sun Oct 31 1999 - 04:28:56 PST

Dear members,

adiyEn is curious to know if any of you can enlighten
me on the following question that is puzzling me for
sometime:

A month ago there was a massive earthquake in Taiwan
that killed about 4000 people. A month earlier there
was a mighty earthquake in Turkey that killed more
than 10000 people in one night. Just last week in
India in the state of Orissa a cyclone struck killing
more than 100 people in one night. Even as I am
writing this note a "super-cyclone" has again struck
Orissa with more violent force than the last time and
no one is sure yet how many have been killed but the
number is expected to be in thousands rather than
hundreds.

Sometimes when we witness or come to learn about a
series of natural catastrophes like this, one cannot
help thinking if it is all not some kind of "praLayam"
or doomsday or what the Bible describes as apocalypse.

My question is :

(1) According to Vedic cosmology "praLayam" happens in
one big bang? Or does it consist of a series of
natural disasters such as the ones we saw above in the
past few months?

(2) Does "praLayam" mean TOTAL destruction or does it
envisage some residual vestige of life still lingering
on in the world after the apocalypse?

(3) Will "praLayam" occur suddenly? Without any
advance intimation of its imminence? Or will it be
preceded by series of smaller advance-warning
disasters and cataclysms?

(4) Will "praLayam" consist of only big deluge or will
it also include earthquake, hurricanes, pestilence,
drought, outbreak of epidemic, volcanic eruption,
avalanches, ozone-layer depletion etc.?

Are there any passages in Vedas about these matters?
What do the passages in the Veda relating to
"praLayam" have to say about these things?

adiyEn is very curious to know. Somebody knowledgeable
please explain.

dAsan,
Sampathkumaran

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