The Ishta Devata

An article written by Pawel Leszczak
(Guru and Guide – Rafal Gendarz)
There are four main goals of human existance: dharma, artha,
kama and moksha. In order to achieve them, people are advised to
worship various devatas. Among all the devatas one can worship,
the Ishta Devata is the foremost.
Defining the Ishta Devata
he ter! "Ishta Devata" literally !eans "the !ain deity"# his
Deity can bless $ne with g$$d %assage thr$ugh life# &hat is
!$re' Ishta Devata is res%$nsible f$r granting !$ksha t$ the
native# (ence' its w$rshi% n$t $nly ensures that $ne"s wh$le
life is taken care $f' but als$ !akes it certain that $ne is
!$ving t$wards liberati$n#
A!$ng all the different devatas it is )ishnu' wh$ is ca%able
$f best$wing !$ksha# (e al$ne carries the sudarshana
chakra and uses it s%ecifically f$r that %ur%$se# If $ne is hit
by this astra $f L$rd )ishnu he achieves final e!anci%ati$n
as sudarshana chakra has the %$wer t$ se%arate $ne"s at!a
fr$! the !ana# *$r these reas$ns the w$rshi% $f an
a%%r$%riate )ishnu Avatara as $ne"s Ishta Devata is
generally rec$!!ended#
($wever' it has t$ be b$rne in !ind that $ne"s Ishta Devata
!ay n$t necessarily be )ishnu# he achieve!ent $f
%erfecti$n is als$ %$ssible f$r th$se wh$ are w$rshi%%ing
$ther Deities' like +hiva $r Durga Devi# +till' in such
situati$ns' !$ksha is granted by the via !ediu! $f +ri
)ishnu and (is sudarshana chakra' as it is )ishnu al$ne'
wh$ takes $n the task $f giving !$ksha#
he en!ity between +ri Ra!a and Ravana de%icted in the
Ra!ayana clearly illustrates this %$int# It is a well,kn$wn
fact that Ravana was a great dev$tee $f L$rd +hiva# (e was
blessed by the L$rd and n$ wea%$n used by +ri
Ra!achandra c$uld kill hi!# his was s$' because L$rd
+hiva wanted t$ grant (is dev$tee !ukti# Ravana died $nly
when L$rd Ra!a threw (is chakra and in this way granted
hi! liberati$n#
heref$re b$th state!ents !ade in +hastras are right- that
$nly )ishnu is the giver $f !$ksha and that the $ther
Devatas (like L$rd +hiva $r Devi) are als$ ca%able $f
blessing their dev$tees with !ukti#
* * *
he f$r! $f Ishta Devata and its w$rshi%
L$rd )ishnu a%%ears in this w$rld thr$ugh different grahas
and th$se grahas indicate the a%%r$%riate Avatara that
sh$uld be w$rshi%%ed as $ne"s Ishta Devata# he list $f
th$se vari$us incarnati$ns and %lanets ass$ciated with the!
is given in the .rihat Parashara ($ra +hastra' cha%ter /'
verses 0,1-
''From ur!a the avatara of "ama, from #handra that of $rishna,
from %angal that of &arasimha, from 'uddha that of (ord
'uddha, from )uru that of *amana, from hukra that of
+arashurama, from hani that of $urma, from "ahu that of
*araha and from $etu that of %eena occurred. All other
incarnations ,than these- are also through the grahas ,...-''
As far as the w$rshi% $f $ther Devatas is c$ncerned' the list
$f th$se Deities and their c$rres%$nding %lanets was given
by Parashara 2uni in his .rihat Parashara ($ra +hastra in
the cha%ter $n 3araka!sa# It was als$ %resented by 4ai!ini
2aharishi in his 5%adesha +utras (6#/#1/–17)- +urya
indicates L$rd +hiva' 8handra indicates G$uri' +hukra
indicates Laksh!i' 2angal indicates +kanda' .uddha and
+hani b$th indicate L$rd )ishnu' Guru indicates +a!ba
+hiva' Rahu indicates a!asi $r Durga and 3etu indicates
L$rd Ganesha#
9very$ne is eligible f$r the w$rshi% $f $ne"s Ishta Devata
and every$ne at least sh$uld kn$w their Ishta Devata# he
%r$cess $f w$rshi% is si!%le and is based $n the chanting $f
the dvadakshari !antra f$r the a%%r$%riate Deity# Alth$ugh
this chanting al$ne is very %$werful' an ideal situati$n is
when $ne als$ %erf$r!s %anca u%achara %u:a t$ $ne"s Ishta
he ter! "dvadakshari !antra" !eans "the twelve syllable
!antra"# An e;a!%lary dvadakshari !antra f$r L$rd
)ishnu as Ishta Devata is given by the Parashara 2uni in
his )ishnu Purana# he ugra !adhusudana !antra given
there by the sage is as f$ll$ws- om namo .hagavate vasudeva!a#
Parashara 2uni advises %e$%le t$ chant it and says that
with this !antra we ask L$rd )ishnu t$ %ick u% (is
sudarshana chakra and liberate us# he !antra bh$ga $f this
%articular !antra is !ukti# heref$re it sh$uld be d$ne f$r
$ne"s Ishta Devata with the %ur%$se $f !aking %r$gress
t$wards final e!anci%ati$n#
* * *
he Avataras $f L$rd )ishnu
9ach )ishnu Avatar is w$rshi%%ed with a different
dvadakshari !antra# (erein I have %resented each $f these
incarnati$ns with a sh$rt descri%ti$n and the suggested
!antra# <ne sh$uld kn$w that there are $ften !$re than
$ne dvadakshari !antra f$r a %articular )ishnu Avatar# As
s$!e $f the! are n$t in line with the traditi$n and
%ara!%ara it is advised t$ refer t$ auth$rities while
ch$$sing an a%%r$%riate $ne#
+ri Ra!achandra
L$rd Ra!a has a%%eared in the dynasty $f 2ahara:a
3hatvanga as the s$n $f 2ahara:a Dasharatha# (e br$ke the
(ara,dhanu' !arried +itadevi and defeated Ravana# Later
$n the L$rd beca!e the king $f Ay$dhya# (is gl$ries and
%asti!es are de%icted in the fa!$us Ra!ayana# he !antra
that sh$uld be chanted f$r +ri Ra!achandra Ishta Devata is-
+ri 3rishna
L$rd 3rishna a%%eared in the dynasty $f =adu as the s$n $f
)asudeva and Devaki# (e has %erf$r!ed nu!er$us
%asti!es during (is %resence in this w$rld# (e a%%eared $n
the %lea $f L$rd .rah!a' L$rd +hiva' !$ther 9arth and the
de!ig$ds in $rder t$ defeat the de!$ns and hel% !$ther
9arth and (er inhabitants# +ri 3rishna is the s%eaker $f the
fa!$us .hagavad Gita# he !antra that sh$uld be chanted
f$r +ri 3rishna Ishta Devata is-
+ri >arasi!ha Avatara
L$rd )ishnu a%%eared in the f$r! $f +ri >arasi!ha in $rder
t$ save (is dev$tee Prahlada 2ahara:a# +ri Prahlad was a
great dev$tee $f L$rd )ishnu and the s$n $f a de!$n
na!ed (iranyakashi%u# L$rd >arasi!ha a%%eared fr$!
the %illar in $rder t$ save hi! and kill (iranyakashi%u# he
!antra that sh$uld be chanted f$r >arasi!ha Ishta Devata
+ri .uddha
L$rd .uddha a%%eared in this w$rld because %e$%le were
%erf$r!ing sinful deeds $n the strength $f )edic auth$rity#
hat is why (e has re:ected the )edas and %reached
buddhist %hil$s$%hy' teaching %e$%le the basic dhar!ic
%rinci%les# ($wever' because (e has re:ected the )edas (e
is n$t acc%eted as a w$rshi%able incarnati$n# hat is why'
since the .uddha graha als$ signifies )ishnu' it is
rec$!!ended t$ w$rshi% L$rd )ishnu directly' instead $f
L$rd .uddha# he !antra that sh$uld be chanted f$r L$rd
)ishnu Ishta Devata is-
+ri )a!anadeva
L$rd )a!ana a%%eared in this w$rld as the s$n $f
3ashya%a 2uni and Aditi# (e t$$k the f$r! $f a
brah!achari dwarf# L$rd )a!ana a%%eared $n the
sacrificial arena $f .ali 2ahara:a and asked hi! f$r a three,
ste%s,l$ng area $f his land as a d$nati$n# 2ahara:a agreed
and +ri )a!anadeva t$$k the entire universe with his tw$
ste%s# (e !ade the third ste% by %utting (is f$$t $n .ali
2ahara:a"s head# he !antra that sh$uld be chanted f$r +ri
)a!anadeva Ishta Devata is-
+ri Parashura!a
Rcika 2uni and +atyavati devi had a s$n na!ed 4a!adagni#
he s$n $f 4a!adagni was Parashura!a# <nce 3ing
3artaviryar:una has st$len 4a!adagni his ka!adhenu# (e
was theref$re killed by Parashura!a' wh$ later $n has
slaughtered the dynasty $f de!$niac kshatriyas twenty $ne
ti!es # It is n$t rec$!!ended by the %ara!%ara t$ use the
na!e "Parashura!a" directly in the dvadakshari !antra'
hence the rec$!!ended !antra is-
+ri 3ur!a Avatara
L$rd )ishnu has incarnated as a t$rt$ise in $rder t$ bec$!e
a base f$r the 2andara 2$untain' which was used by the
suras and the asuras f$r the churning $f the $cean $f !ilk#
his t$$k %lace because b$th %arties desired the a!rita# he
!antra that sh$uld be chanted f$r the 3ur!a Avatara Ishta
Devata is-
+ri )arahadeva
L$rd )ishnu has t$$k the f$r! $f a b$ar t$ save the 9arth
that has dr$wned in the water $f the Garbh$daka $cean#
his ha%%ened due t$ a de!$n na!ed (iranyaksha# he
L$rd has n$t $nly saved the 9arth' but als$ killed the
de!$n# he !antra that sh$uld be chanted f$r +ri )araha
Ishta Devata is-
+ri 2atsya Avatara
At the end $f the %revi$us kal%a there was $ne de!$n wh$
desired t$ steal the )edic kn$wledge fr$! L$rd .rah!a#
*$r this reas$n' at the begining $f the era $f +vaya!bhuva
2anu' L$rd )ishnu has incarnated in the f$r! $f a fish and
saved the )edas# During the era $f 8akshusa 2anu the L$rd
has a%%eared as a fish f$r the sec$nd ti!e# (e a%%ered t$
save the great and %i$us ruler +atyavrata# Later $n
+atyavrata t$$k birth as a s$n $f the +un g$d' and beca!e a
2anu# he !antra that sh$uld be chanted f$r 2atsya Ishta
Devata is-
* * *
($w t$ find Ishta Devata in a chart
he key r$le in revealing $ne"s Ishta Devata %lays the At!a
3araka# At!a 3araka is the %lanet that has the highest
l$ngitude# $ find $ne"s Ishta Devata we have t$ l$$k at the
At!a 3araka in >ava!sa' since the >ava!sa sh$ws
blessings $f G$d $nt$ the native and the way in which the
native c$!!unicates with G$d# >ava!sa is als$ kn$wn as
the dhar!a,a!sa' since it is the 7
divisi$n (ninth h$use
signifies dhar!a)# heref$re we sh$uld l$$k f$r Ishta
Devata in this )arga#
At!a 3araka in >ava!sa is called the karaka!sa# he
twelfth h$use fr$! Lagna sh$ws that what releases $ne
fr$! the b$nds $f this w$rld# he twelfth h$use fr$! the
karaka!sa is called the :ivan!ukta!sa# his is the h$use
signifying the e!anci%ati$n $f the s$ul and we have t$
e;a!ine this h$use in $rder t$ find $ne"s Ishta Devata# If
there is a graha in the :ivan!ukta!sa' it signifies the
Devata# If there are !$re grahas than $ne' we ch$$se the
str$ngest# If there is n$ graha in the :ivan!ukta!sa' we take
its L$rd#
* * *
8hart 6
his is a chart $f a dev$tee $f 3rishna# he 3araka!sa $f
this %ers$n (+hukra) is debilitated in 3anya# he twelfth
fr$! the 3araka!sa (:ivan!ukta!sa) is +i!ha Rasi' with
8handra %laced in it# his suggests +ri 3rishna as Ishta
Devata# his %ers$n has been w$rshi%%ing +ri 3rishna f$r
!any years# +he was als$ given the dvadakshari !antra "$!
na!$ bhagavate vasudevaya"#
8hart /
he At!a 3araka $f this %ers$n is +urya# It is %laced in
>ava!sa Lagna# he :ivan!ukta!sa is Dhanus' with n$
grahas in it# he L$rd $f Dhanus is Guru and we find Guru
in trik$na t$ b$th' 3araka!sa and Lagna!sa# As +urya
suggests L$rd +hiva and Guru suggests +adaa+hiva this
%ers$n has attracti$n t$ L$rd +hiva and %erf$r!s %anca
u%achara %u:a t$ the +hivalinga! daily# (e als$ chants
Lingashtaka! and d$es sadhanas t$ vari$us +hiva !antras#
8hart ?
his is a chart $f an astr$l$ger# (er 3araka!sa is Rahu'
%laced in 2esha# In the thwelfth h$use fr$! it there is
2angal' indicating +ri >arasi!ha .hagavan as Ishta
Devata# his %ers$n has tried !any !antras' but she always
says that whenever she chants a >arasi!ha %rayer $r
!antra she e;%eriences that kind $f %$tency she really can"t
e;%erience in $ther !antras#
8hart @
(ere we can see that the At!a 3araka $f this %ers$n'
2angal' is %laced in Dhanus in the >ava!sa# his w$uld
suggest +ri >arasi!ha .hagavan as her Ishta Devata' since
)rischika is the :ivan!ukta!sa# ($wever' acc$rding t$ the
%ara!%ara' when the :ivan!ukta!sa is l$rded by the At!a
3araka we either have t$ take the $ther l$rd $f this h$use
()rschika $r 3u!bha) $r take a graha that is in the trik$na
t$ 3araka!sa# (ere 3etu' the $ther l$rd $f )rschika' is
str$ng in 2eena Rasi# heref$re this suggests either +ri
2ahagana%ati $r 2atsya Avatara#
8hart 0
In this chart we can see that the 3araka!sa +hani is in
Dhanus# he :ivan!ukta!sa is )rischika with 2angal and
.uddha in it# .uddha suggests +ri )ishnu and 2angal'
being str$nger' suggests the f$r! $f +ri )ishnu –
>arasi!hadeva# his is %ers$n is a %i$us bhakta $f L$rd
)ishnu' and he %articularily has attracti$n f$r L$rd
8hart A
he last >ava!sa is that $f the f$under and Acharya $f
I+83<>' +rila Prabhu%ad# (e was a great dev$tee $f L$rd
3rishna' and we can see 8handra (+ri 3rishna) al$ng with
+urya (+ri Ra!a) in his :ivan!ukta!sa# he At!a 3araka $f
+rila Prabhu%ada was Rahu' suggesting a very s%iritual

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