Ishta is the Nucleus

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Unite the mind with the ishta devata. Lean the mind towards the ishta, just as when cooking for loved ones, one is always aware of them – children and husband. It is not the act which is important, it is the awareness of the person for whom it is being done.

The sadhaka should realize that his meditational object is not merely a photograph, but a platform for the descent of the Divine. He should understand throughout everything that the more he concentrates on the picture, the clearer his ishta will become. Let it become a truth of his mind that his ishta is everywhere, even though he is encased in a body for the favour of his bhaktas.

Time and space meet in the ishta devata. Time and space meet in the symbol. It can be anything – a flower, wife, husband, the guru; it doesn’t matter. Christ can be a symbol, Sri Rama can be a symbol, guru can be a symbol, any object can be a symbol provided it can hold the mind. Anything that can hold the mind is the best symbol. If it can’t hold the mind, the mind runs away. When the symbol is there as a nucleus, time and space are moving closer to each other, and when they move closer to each other at some point they should meet. The point where they meet is the symbol, and the moment they meet there is an explosion. When there is an explosion, that explosion charges the kundalini.

Whatsoever form any devotee desires to worship with faith—that (same) faith of his I make firm and unflinching. (7:21)