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Re: PraLayams
Date: Thu Nov 04 1999 - 16:46:39 PST

In a message dated 11/4/99 12:07:58 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< Sir, adiyen has one more related question
 > re:"pralayam". Are there any passages in Vedas
 > related
 > to pralayam? We know "purusha-suktam" which is a
 > great
 > hymn appearing in all the 4 vedas. Generally,
 > 'purusha-suktam" is known to be a primordial hymn
 > that
 > is Veda's eye-witness account of the process of
 > Cosmic
 > Creation. Similarly, is there a hymn in the Vedas
 > that
 > speaks of "pralayam" -- a Vedic eye-witness account
 > of
 > cosmic dissolution? >>

The Nasadiya Sukta (Rigveda 10.129.1-7) is the best account of Pralaya in the 
Vedas. There cannot be any 'eye witness' account as such because there are no 
eyes in the state of Mahapralaya and the Jivas are put 'to deep slumber' by 
Brahman. The nature of Pralaya can be fathomed only from the Sastras, and is 
very mysterious. Which is why, the last mantra of the Nasadiya Sukta puts 

"Iyam visristhi yat aababhuva yadi va dadhey yad va na|
Yo asyadhakshyah pareamey vyomantso anga veda va na veda||

The mantra does not mean that even God does not know what existed before the 
creation manifested, rather it means that the state of the Universe before it 
came into being is unfathomable by human mind.

(The Taittiriya Brahman repeats this entire sukta and adds two famous mantras 
which declare that Brahman indeed is the efficient and the material cause of 
Brahmanda. The second of these is quoted by Sri Ramanuja in Sri Bhasya 
Adhyaya 1, Pada 4 in the adhikarana starting with the sutra 'Prakrtischa