Why did not God imprison Satan immediately? Was God helpless?
Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called that Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world." (12:9.)
C. Did not Satan, when he was in heaven, deceive men? Why did not (God) imprison him for life or put him to death? Why was he cast down on the earth? If the devil deceives the whole world, who is his tempter? If he has tempted himself then men can also be tempted by themselves, without his help. But if God be his tempter, such a being can never God. It seems that even the Christian God feared the Devil, since if God be more powerful than he why didn't He punish him as soon as he sinned.
The power of the Christian God in this world is not even a thousandth part of the power of the Devil hence, it is very likely that the Christian God was quite helpless to prevent him from making mischief. He is not like the present-day Christian rulers who punish criminals such as dacoits and burglars as soon as possible. Who is then so foolish as to renounce the Vedic religion and accept, instead, the false religion of the Christians?
Answer: Maharishi seems to be advocating something similar to that of mob justice and does not seems to appreciate the full course of law.
The sin of Satan is pride. Isaiah 14: 14 “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
Some may ask- so what is the sin about it? If Satan were immediately imprisoned and never allowed to act, the full course of justice which includes time to prove himself innocent or guilty would not have been there. However, now the course of justice is running. Everyone has now agreed that Satan is evil. Satan’s evilness will be further exposed which would justify an eternal damnation for the evil one.
Maharishi’s fundamental problem was that he was incapable of grasping the course of justice. Maharishi speaks like a ring leader of an intolerant mob.