Is Ishsta-devata determined by the family tradition (Kula-Devata) or personal liking or something else? Are there any injunctions of the spiritual scriptures? If it is determined by the injunctions of such scriptures, kindly quote the original slokas with meanings.

Please note that astrogists quote various slokas for determinig Isha-Devata by Aatmakaraka or any other planet's position in the birth charts. But none of the great saints asked for the birth chart or paid any heed to these to initiate their disciples and this is clear from their biographies. So kindly dont quote anything regarding astrology.

  • But birth chart also gives clear hint who ur Ista devata will be .. Because saints like Omkarnatha said the mantras are to be given upon judging the predominant tattva of the disciple (which can be Agni, Prithivi, Jala etc) ... and from Naksatra alone we can judge a native's mula tattva .. so astrology can be quite handy here although a Sat Guru of course knows the best – Rickross Feb 4 '19 at 7:48
  • @Rickross no, Omkarnathji or Sri Ramakrishna or any other saint never saw birth chart for giving diksha. – user17294 Feb 4 '19 at 7:49
  • I am not saying they did I m saying they (at least Omkarnath said) said Mantras shd be given upon judging a disciple's tattva and finding tattva is easy from his birth chart – Rickross Feb 4 '19 at 7:50
  • @Rickross no, the ishtas Sri Ramakrishna gave for example tomSwamiji does not tally with the nakshatra of His birth chart.The charts of them are available. – user17294 Feb 4 '19 at 7:52
  • There is no such thing. One has to go as per his longing. What his inner self feels – Rakesh Joshi Feb 4 '19 at 11:22

The following norms are mentioned in many places now a days as the way to determine one's Ishta:

The deities are worshipped based on the planets in the 12th from kaarakaamsha. Here are >the presiding deities for each planet who will be your Ishta Devata as per your horoscope.

Sun~ Vishnu/ Rama/ Shiva

Moon ~ Krishna/Parvati

Mars ~ Hanuman/ Subramanya/ Sri Narasimha

Mercury ~ Vishnu

Jupiter ~ Vishnu/ Sri Vamana/ Dattatreya/ Sai Baba

Venus ~ Mahalakshmi/ Parashurama

Saturn ~ ShaniDev/ Hanuman/ Kurma

Rahu ~ Durga/ Varaha

Ketu ~ Ganesh/ Matsya

Ascendent ~ Kalki

But the fact is that There is no scriptural basis of this view.

Sri Sai Baba can not be Ishtadevata as per scriptures. Only five forms ie Ganesha, Surya, Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti and their different scripture-approved incarnations are accepted for the Tantrik diksha.

By the way,

anyone can worship one's Guru as God, but can not construct a separate mantra for him or her. Mantras must be mentioned in the scriptures alongwith specifications like Rishi, Chhanda, Devata etc (Reference: Omkarnath Rachanavali, Vol.1, page 293).

Many organisations do have such basisless practices though.

A general guru (who is not a siddha) should judge

Nakshatrachakra, Raashi-Chakra, Rini-Dhani Chakra, Kulaakula-Chakra, Aktaha-chakra, Akamada-Chakra etc.Varahi -Tantra says, Tara-Chakra is required for Vishnu-mantra, Kostha-Chakra for Shiva-Mantra, Rashi-Chakra for Tripura-Mantra, Akamada-Chakra for Gopala/Rama mantra, Hara-chakra in Ganesha-mantra, Kostha-Chakra in Varaha-mantra and Kulakula-Chakra in Mahalakshmi mantra (Ref: Bharitya Saktisadhana O Sakta-Sahitya,Upendrakumar Das, RMIC,Vol.2, page-716).

A siddha-Guru needs no such calculations or anusthanas (ibid, page 753)

According to Diksha-Saara(Amita, republished by Mahamilan Math, Kolkata),

In Vaidika-mantra,Prassada-beeja(HOUM),Pranava, Mala-mantra(a mantra containing more than twenty letters, a mantra received in a dream, Ashtakshara Mantra (OM NAMO NARAYANAYA), Panchakshara-mantra(Namah Shivay) and Mahavidya -mantras(of Kali-Tara etc), no vichara of the above types is required.(page 200).

According to Mantrayoga-Samhita,

Aakashasya adhipo Vishnur agneshchaapi Maheswari/Vayor Agnih kshiter Isho Jivanasya Ganaadipah

meaning : The Adhipati of Aakhasha-tattwa is Vishnu, of Agni-tattwa is Maheswari, of Vayu-tattwa is Surya(Agni), of khsiti-tattwa is Shiva and of Jala-tatwa is Ganeha. The Isha-devata should be chosen by the tattwa which dominates in the body of the disciple (Omkarnath Rachanaavali, Mahamilan Math, Vol 7, page 110-111).

The above can not be determined by an ordinary Guru. In that case

The mantra of the Kula-Devata is advised. If one has special love for some form of God, the mantra of that form can be taken.(ibid : given above)


Good Question

Ishta devata is determined by one's own disposition.

Gita talks about that..

यजन्ते सात्त्विका देवान्यक्षरक्षांसि राजसाः।

प्रेतान्भूतगणांश्चान्ये यजन्ते तामसा जनाः

17.4 The Sattvic or the pure men worship the gods; the Rajasic or the passionate worship the Yakshas and the Rakshasas; the others (the Tamasic or the deluded people) worship the ghosts and the hosts of the nature-spirits.

Hope it helps!!

  • 4
    Rakshas and Bhutas are never cosidered as Ishtadevatas of anyone – user17294 Feb 4 '19 at 7:57
  • 4
    Nope that's not what is being asked in the question – baba Feb 4 '19 at 7:58
  • 2
    Rakshasas and Bhutas can't be Ista Devas. So, this doesn't answer the question. – The Destroyer Feb 6 '19 at 8:22