When one is impudent toward a highly authorized devotee, one is punished by the laws of nature. The duration of his life is diminished, and he loses the blessings of superior persons and the results of pious activities. Hiraṇyakaśipu, for example, had achieved such great power in the material world that he could subdue practically all the planetary systems in the universe, including the heavenly planets (Svargaloka). Yet now, because of his mistreatment of such a Vaiṣṇava as Prahlāda Mahārāja, all the results of his tapasya diminished. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (SB 10.4.46):
- āyuḥ śriyaṁ yaśo dharmaṁ
- lokān āśiṣa eva ca
- hanti śreyāṁsi sarvāṇi
- puṁso mahad-atikramaḥ
"When one mistreats great souls, his life span, opulence, reputation, religion, possessions and good fortune are all destroyed."