“The maha-bhagavata, the advanced devotee, certainly sees everything mobile and immobile, but he does not exactly see their forms. Rather, everywhere he immediately sees manifest the form of the Supreme Lord.” (Chaitanya Charitamrita, Madhya 8.274)
In Sanskrit the term ishta-deva means the “deity of choice.” The deity is that which is worshiped. The ishta-deva is the deity you most prefer to worship. You have a choice in the matter, as since you are a servant at heart, there are so many objects which can accept your service. There is an original source of all objects, and He has many non-different expansions. He also has many separated expansions that serve in the godly capacity. This leaves so many choices. Since the original is complete, worship of it automatically brings appreciation for everything else.
It doesn’t work the other way around, however. For instance, water comes from the original person. Water is…
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