(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Vrindavan India 4 April 2019, SB 8.17.25-27)
Everyone is an agent of the Lord. Everyone is part of the plan of the Lord. Some understand it, and some do not. The demons do not understand that they are actually also agents of the Lord’s destructive and oppressive force. They do not see that they are simply instruments of the Lord, and they resist being His instrument.
Bali Maharaja was a daitya. He was the grandson of Prahlada Maharaja. Somehow or the other, although Hiranyakasipu was a demon, Prahlada was a devotee. However, the son of Prahlada, Virocana, was not a devotee; he was a demon.
It is mentioned at one point that Indra and Virocana were sent as representatives of the demigods and the demons respectively, to meet Lord Brahma and find out what the real goal of life is. They performed austerities and Lord Brahma appeared. Lord Brahma immediately said, “The goal of life is simply to enjoy one’s senses to the fullest.”
Virocana replied, “I know all this. I do not need to wait around and hear anything more. I could write a book about it myself. The purpose of life is to enjoy the senses to the fullest.”
So Virocana left, but Indra was thinking, “This answer is not really satisfactory. It is incomplete because I have had everything one could imagine to enjoy the senses and still I am not satisfied. Still I am suffering. So how can this be the ultimate goal? No, there must be more.” And Indra stayed and performed more austerities. Then Brahma appeared again, though he still tested Indra and made him perform more austerities. But ultimately he told him the real goal of life.
The point that I am trying to make today is that the demons like Virocana consider sense enjoyment to be very important. It is interesting that Sukracarya, who was the spiritual master of Hiranyakasipu and the demons. continued to act as the spiritual master for the next generation and became also the spiritual master of Bali Maharaja. Sukaracarya was also of that view that sense enjoyment was very desirable, and therefore he was attached to his position of comfort, which he got. Therefore he did not instruct Bali Maharaja properly.