From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Virocana as per Chāndogya Upaniṣad[edit]

According to the Chāndogya Upaniṣad,[1] Virocana was the king of the Asuras[2] who went to the teacher Prajāpati to get the knowledge of ātman.[3] 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[edit]

As per the Mahābhārata,[4] 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.


  1. Chāndogya Upaniṣad 8.7
  2. Asuras are the antigods or demons
  3. Ātman means the Self.
  4. Udyogaparva 35
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore