Chapter 37 — Prahlada Meditates for Thousands of Years; the Asura Kingdom in Chaos

Vasishta said:—

Prahlada the victor over hostile hosts, was sitting in divine meditation, absorbed in his entranced bliss for a long time. The soul reposing in its original state of unalterable ecstasy made his body as still as a rock in painting or a figure carved in relief on stone. In this manner, sitting in his house in a posture as unshaken as the firm Mount Meru is fixed upon the earth, a long time passed in his meditation.

The great asura demons of his palace tried to rouse him in vain because his deadened mind remained deaf to their calls like a solid rock. He was impassive as a parched grain to the showers of rain. For thousands of years he remained intent upon his God, his gaze fixed and firm, as unmoved as the carved sun upon a sundial. Having thus attained the state of supreme bliss, the sight of unhappiness disappeared from his view as it is unknown to the supremely blissful being.

During this time the whole extent of his kingdom was overtaken by spreading anarchy and oppression, as if ruling over the poor fishes. Because after Hiranykashipu was killed and his son became an ascetic, there was nobody left to rule over the kingdoms of the asura race. As Prahlada was not to be roused from his meditation slumber by the solicitations of the Daitya demon chiefs or the cries of his oppressed people, 10 the enemies of the gods were as sorry not to have their graceful lord among them as the bees are aggrieved for lack of the blooming lotus at night. 11 They found him absorbed in his meditation, like when the world is drowned in deep sleep after the sun departs below the horizon. 12 The sorrowful Daityas left his presence and went away wherever they liked. They roved about at random, as they do in an ungoverned state.

13 In time the infernal regions became the seat of anarchy and oppression. Good and honest dealings bade farewell all at once. 14 The houses of the weak were robbed by the strong and the restraints of laws were set at nothing. People oppressed one another and robbed women of their clothes. 15 There were crying and wailing of people on all sides and houses were pulled down in the city. Houses and gardens were robbed and spoiled and outlawry and rapacity spread all over the land.

16 The asuras were in deep sorrow. Their families were starving without food or fruit. There were disturbances and riots rising everywhere and the face of the sky was darkened on all sides. 17 They were derided by the youths of the gods and invaded by vile robbers and envious animals. Houses were robbed of their properties and laid waste and empty. 18 The asura kingdom became a scene of horror with lawless fighting for wives and properties of others, and the wailings of those who were robbed of their wealth and wives. It made the scene seem like the rule of the dark Kali age when atrocious marauders are let loose to spread devastation all over the earth.