An Ishta Devi is your personal image of the Divine Presence. For some people this step is already very clear to them. They already know what image of Presence lives in their hearts. But for others, it’s not so easy.
As human beings, we need that personal connection – that personification of the Divine Presence in order to be able to relate with it. The Divine is very kind and will take whatever form suits you.
Thomas Ashley-Farrand, one of my teachers, used to say that his teacher would laugh speaking with his Indian accent – If you are a cow – you will see the most beautiful Divine cow as your God.
Two inches below the Anahata, the heart chakra, is an esoteric chakra called the Hrit Padma. It is here that the Divine flame in each one of us burns. If you meditate on it long enough you will see it. It is very beautiful. It’s a blueish white flame burning in the middle of the heart space.
This is the real us. Beyond all time and space. Our Ishta Deva comes from this place.
That is why people sometimes become very attached to their particular image. They experience their particular image coming from their Hrit Padma so powerfully they believe that there could only be one image of the Divine Presence. They rush and try to tell everyone of their discovery and can become quite zealous. We have all seen the effects of people over-zealous with their own images of God. So many people have been killed because of it.
But as we know, the Divine comes in many forms, so it doesn’t really matter which form you subscribe to, but to really get somewhere in your spiritual life it is very helpful to figure out which one it is for you and stick to it.
If you are having difficulty finding your Ishta Devi the seed sound for the Hrit Padma is :
So repeat this daily until a Divine form presents itself for you.
At some stage in our spiritual development we do discard the image. But in the meantime, that intimacy and relationship can be a wonderful support. So choose one and dedicate your Mantras to them.