Kula Devata Vs. Ishta Devata:
Kula Devata is the God/Goddess worshipped by the family, by tradition. This Kula Devata is the God to whom the family would do prayer before any auspicious occasion is done at home: like marriage, upanayan sanskar etc. Kula Devata cannot be substituted by Ishta Devata as Ishta Devata can be specific to each person, even in a family. Ishta Devata is the personal Deity who will guide the soul to its real home- Moksha. You need to necessarily search through your relatives to find the Kula Devata, While Ishta Devta can be find out from your Horoscope only.
Everyone must do the worship of one’s Ishta Devata and at least should know their Ishta Devata. The process of worship is simple and is based on the chanting of the related Mantras for the appropriate Devata. An examplary Dvadakshari Mantra for Lord Vishnu as Ishta Devata is given by the Parashara Sage in his Vishnu Purana as follows:
Mantra: Om namo bhagavate vasudevaya namah
In Hindi: ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय नमः
Ishta Devata is the personal Deity who will guide the soul to its real home–Moksha. The key role in revealing one’s Ishta Devata plays the Atma Karaka. Atma Karaka is the planet that has the highest longitude in one’s horoscope. To find one’s Ishta Devata we have to look at the Atma Karaka planet in Navamsa, since the Navamsa shows blessings of God onto the native and the way in which the native communicates with God. Navamsa is also known as the dharma-amsa, since it is the 9th division (9th house signifies dharma). Therefore we should look for Ishta Devata in this Varga.
How to find Ishta Devata:
Atma Karaka is the planet that has the highest longitude in one’s natal Chart. Atma Karaka in Navamsa is called the “Karakamsa”. The 12th from the Karakamsa determines the “Istha Devata”. The 12th house from the karakamsa is called the “Jivanmuktamsa”. This is the house signifying the emancipation of the soul and we have to examine this house in order to find one’s Ishta Devata. If there is a graha in the Jivanmuktamsa, it signifies the Devata. If there are more grahas than one, we choose the strongest. If there is no graha in the Jivanmuktamsa, we can see whether any Grahas are aspecting the 12th. If no Grahas aspect it, we can take the 12th Lord as Ishta Devata.
In the chapter called “kaarakaamsa phala” in BPHS, Parasara mentioned the deities worshipped based on the planets in the 12th from kaarakaamsha. For example, Sun in 12th from Atma Karaka shows a worshipper of Shiva and Moon in 12th from Atma Karaka shows a worshipper of Maa Gouri.
Below are the presiding deities for each planet who will be your Ishta Devata as per your Horoscope.
Mars— Hanuman/Subramanya/Sri Narasimha
Jup— Vishnu/Sri Vamana/Dattatreya/Sai Baba
Ven— Maha Lakshmi/Parashurama/Maa Gouri
Sat— Shani Dev/Hanuman/Kurma/Shiva/Vishnu
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