By Swami Harshananda
Virocana as per Chāndogya Upaniṣad
According to the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, Virocana was the king of the Asuras who went to the teacher Prajāpati to get the knowledge of ātman. He, with his limited intellect, understood that the physical body itself was the ātman and propagated the same to his flock. Consequently, the asuras became gross materialists.
Virocana as per Mahābhārata
As per the Mahābhārata, Virocana was the son of Prahlāda and father of Bali. Once he had a dispute with a brāhmaṇa sage Sudhanva about the relative superiority of a brāhmaṇa and a kṣattriya, but lost it.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore