He was the son of Prahlada and the father of Bali. Three sons Virocana, Kumbha and Nikumbha were born to Prahlada by his wife Dhrti. Virocana, though an asura, performed rites and rituals carefully. He was kind towards Brahmanas. His nature was very much like that of his father.
His son Bali became famous and got the name Mahabali.
(Maha-bharata. Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 19).
2 ) Other details.
( i ) Once there was a controversy between Virocana and Sudhanva. (See under Sudhanva II ) .
(ii) During the time of emperor Prthu, when the asuras milked the earth, Virocana stood as the calf. (Maha-bharata. Drona Parva, Chapter 69, Stanza 20) .
(iii) Virocana is included among the ancient Kings of prominence. (Maha-bharata. Santi Parva, Chapter 227, Stanza 50).
(iv) There is a story about the quest for knowledge about universal and individual souls, by Indra and Virocana, in Chandogyopanisad, as given below.
Once the Devas and the asuras approached Prajapati to learn about Brahman, the impersonal God. Prajapati told them:
“Atman (soul) is the first tattva (Essential being) which is sinless, eternal, desireless and unimaginable in the earth.”
Having heard this philosophy about the soul, the Devas selected Indra, and the asuras selected Virocana and to know the details, they sent them to Prajapati as his disciples.
Indra and Virocana stayed with Prajapati for several years to know more about Atman. But Prajapati did riot reveal to them the secret about Brahman. At last to test them Prajapati said “Your reflection that you see in water or mirror is the Atman (soul).”
Virocana, who mistook what the Prajapati said as truth immediately took his bath, put on costly dress and ornaments and stood near water and saw his reflection in water. After that, taking the reflection for soul, he spread this doctrine among his people. With this the asuras accepted body as soul. But the Devas did not recognize this philosophy. They accepted the doctrine that Atman is that essence of Nature which is alien to body and mind and which is pure.
(v) There are two different statements about the death of Virocana in the Puranas.
( 1) In the battle with Tarakasura, Virocana was killed by Devendra. (Maha-bharata. Santi Parva, Chapter 99. Brahmanda 1.20.35; Matsya: 10: 11 ; Padma Purina, Srsti Khanda 16) .
(II) The Sun God was pleased with Virocana and had given him a crown. The sun told him that death would come only if that crown was removed from the head by some body. Because of this boon Virocana became arrogant. So Mahavisnu took the form of a beautiful woman and enticed Virocana towards him and taking away the crown killed him. (Ganes a Purina 2, 29) .
According to Narada Purana, Visnu took the form of a Brahmin and reached the palace of Virocana. There changing the righteous wife of Virocana into a mad woman he killed Virocana.
(vi) Virocana had two wives called Visalaksi and Devi. Two children, Bala and Yasodhara were born by them. The wife of the famous Tvasta was this Yasodhara. (Brahmanda. 3 : 1 : 86; Narada Purina 2 : 32 : Bhagavata, Skandha 9) .
(vii) Virocana had five brothers named Kumbha, Nikumbha, Ayusman, Sibi and Baskali and a sister named Virocana. (Vayu Purana. 84, 19 ).
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