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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Spiritual Questions & Answers > Pre-2007 QnA Swami Gaurangapada > Ista devata questions

Title: Ista devata questions

User: Igor†††† Date: 2006-08-01 08:30:00

 

Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!

†† Dear Swami Gaurangapada, all glories to you!

I have question about ista-devata. I heard that ista devata is specific form of Lord or Deity that is the object of oneís attention and devotion. Does ista devata refer only to visnu tattva? Does every jiva have particular ista-devata and how to know who is her or his ista-devata? How this concept is related to Nityananda Ė Gauranga Naam devotees? I am not familiar with this concept so I am humbly asking you for some explanation.

†† Thank you very much.

†† Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!

 

Title: Re: Ista devata questions

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-08-01 09:25:33

 

Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Guru Parampara! :pranams: Pranams! and :bless: Blessings!Yes Igor, Ishta deva is one's Worshipable Diety and generally only one of the Vishnu Tattva forms can be one's Ishtadeva since all others like demigods etc. are not eternal forms.

 

For those souls who have an eternal relation with the Lord in any of the four mellows in Goloka, Lord Nityananda is the Ishtadeva as it is only He who grants us access to these mellows with Lord Gauranga Krishna. For those souls who have an eternal relation with the Lord in madhurya rasa or as a lover, Lord Gauranga is the Ishtadeva for those souls though it is only by the mercy of Lord Nityananda (radhika-mantra do) that they can achive this. For those souls, who do not have a spiritual form in the eternal Navadvipa but only in the eternal Vraja, Lord Yashodanandana Krishna is the Ishtadeva for them. For those souls who have an eternal relation with Lord Krishna in Dvaraka, Lord Vasudeva Krishna is the Ishtadeva for them. For those souls who have an eternal relation with Lord Ramachandra in Ayodhya, Lord Rama is their Ishtadeva. For those souls who have an eternal relation with Lord Nrisinghadeva, Lord Nrisinghadeva, in His eternal 4-handed form, is their Ishtadeva. For those souls have have an eternal relation with Lord Vishnu is any one of His below described 24 forms in Their respective Vaikuntha planets, He is the Ishtadeva for them and so on..

 

From Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita and Teachings of Lord Chaitanya:

By Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswa and translated by Shrila Prabhupada

 

"In the Siddhartha-samhita, there is a description of the twenty-four forms of Vishnu, and these forms are named according to the position of the symbolic representations in Their four hands. When one describes the positions of objects in the hands of the Vishnu murti, one should begin with the lower right hand then move to the upper right hand, upper left hand and, finally, to the lower left hand. In this way, Vasudeva may be described as being represented by mace, conch shell, disc and lotus flower. Sankarsana is represented by mace, conch shell, lotus flower and disc. Similarly, Pradyumna is represented by disc, conch shell, mace and lotus flower. Aniruddha is represented by disc, mace, conch shell and lotus flower. In the spiritual sky the representations of Narayana are twenty in number and are described as follows: Shri Kesava (flower, conch shell, disc, mace), Narayana (conch, flower, mace and disc), Shri Madhava (mace, disc, conch and flower), Shri Govinda (disc, mace, flower and conch), Vishnu-murti (mace, flower, conch and disc), Madhusudana (disc, conch, flower and mace), Trivikrama (flower, mace, disc and shell), Shri Vamana (conch, disc, mace and flower), Shridhara (flower, disc, mace and shell), Hrsikesa (mace, disc, flower and conch), Padmanabha (shell, flower, disc and mace), Damodara (flower, disc, mace and shell), Purusottama (disc, flower, shell and mace), Acyuta (mace, flower, disc and shell), Nrsimha (disc, flower, mace and shell), Janardana (flower, disc, shell and mace), Shri Hari (shell, disc, flower and mace), Shri Krishna (shell, mace, flower and disc), Adhoksaja (flower, mace, shell and disc), and Upendra (shell, mace, disc and flower)."

 

As one advances in Naam bhajan, gradually the knowledge about and attraction towards one's worshipable Ishtadeva will spontaneously arise in our heart as the Naam will show us everything. Thankyou.

 

Title: Re: Ista devata questions

User: MatusDate: 2006-08-01 14:37:48

 

Dear Swami Gaurangapada Maharaja,

Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!

 

Please accept my humble obeisances at Your Lotus Feet.

 

For those souls, who do not have a spiritual form in the eternal Navadvipa but only in the eternal Vraja, Lord Yashodanandana Krishna is the Ishtadeva for them.

 

What about the souls, who do have two spiritual forms both in Eternal Navadvipa and Vraja? Is Lord Gauranga the Ishta-Deva for them in both the Holy Dhamas?

 

And what about the souls who have their spiritual form only in the Eternal Navadvipa? Is Lord Nityananda or Lord Gauranga or both the Ishta-Deva for them?

 

Thank You very much,

 

Yours humbly,

 

Matus

 

Title: Re: Ista devata questions

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-08-01 14:56:38

 

What about the souls, who do have two spiritual forms both in Eternal Navadvipa and Vraja? Is Lord Gauranga the Ishta-Deva for them in both the Holy Dhamas?

 

Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu is the Ishtadeva for all Gaudiya Vaishnavas who are simultaneous worshipers of Lord Gauranga and Shri Shri Radha Krishna in the material and spiritual worlds.

 

And what about the souls who have their spiritual form only in the Eternal Navadvipa? Is Lord Nityananda or Lord Gauranga or both the Ishta-Deva for them?

 

It is according to the constitutional mellow they have with the Lord as I explained earlier.

 

Some devotees advanced in Naam Bhajan may also internally (in Naam meditation) accept a ragatmika bhakta in the eternal pastimes of the Lord as their ishta or the object of their worship and try to follow in his or her footsteps to serve the Lord. This is one of the characteristics of raganuga bhakti which cannot be artificially practiced or preached but will automatically awaken in the heart gradually when the Naam bhajana matures.

 

Title: Re: Ista devata questions

User: Igor†††† Date: 2006-08-01 20:24:21

 

accept a ragatmika bhakta in the eternal pastimes of the Lord as their ishta or the object of their worship and try to follow in his or her footsteps to serve the Lord.

This is very interesant. I have more questions about that. In Nectar of devotion it is explained that there are five rasas namely santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya and Shrilla Prabhupada is giving us following examples

 

"Persons desiring to follow in the footsteps of such eternal devotees of the Lord as the Vrsnis and Vrndavana denizens are called raganuga devotees, which means that they are trying to attain to the perfection of those devotees."

 

"Devotees who are attracted to Krishna as parents or as friends should follow in the footsteps of Nanda Maharaja or Subala, respectively"

 

So we can see that this kind of worship - raganuga bhakti is described for attaining Lord Krishna in Vrindavana, in all five rasas.

 

Are there also raganuga bhakti in relation to Lord Nityananda and Lord Gauranga in Navadvipa? What raganuga devotees are examples of such devotion and what are characteristics of such practice? Is such worship manifested in all five rasas like in Vrindavana-Krishna or only in dasya rasa toward Lord Gauranga?

Thank you very much for your answers.

 

 

Title: Re: Ista devata questions

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-08-01 20:55:51

 

Are there also raganuga bhakti in relation to Lord Nityananda and Lord Gauranga in Navadvipa?

 

Yes, an advanced devotee in Naam bhajan may internally choose a specific eternal ragatmika associate of Lords Nityananda Gauranga and serve that associate and follow in his or her footsteps. This is an advanced meditation as Naam bhajan progresses and should not be imitated but will arise spontaneously. It is also internal bhajan and nothing to do with the objects or persons of this material world.

 

What raganuga devotees are examples of such devotion and what are characteristics of such practice? Is such worship manifested in all five rasas like in Vrindavana-Krishna or only in dasya rasa toward Lord Gauranga?

 

Yes, generally one has to connect with an eternal associate of Lords Nityananda Gauranga or the Lords Themselves in dasya rasa or mood of servitorship as that is the highest rasa possible in Lord Gauranga's pastimes for a sadhaka (practitioner devotee)...daasya rasa paraakaashtaa gauranga bhajane. By this one can easily understand the greatness of Gauranga bhajana as dasya with Gauranga will grant madhurya with Krishna...i.e. two steps in Gauranga bhajana means we will progress five steps in Krishna bhajana.