Devas, or devata, come in many forms and vary by Hindu-Buddhist tradition, country of origin, or even by specific regions within those countries. Some represent morality and others represent the forces of nature. Examples of devata include:
- Vanadevatas (forest spirits)
- Devata lokapala (guardians of the directions)
- Gramadevata (village gods)
- Kula devata (family deities)
- Ishta devata (chosen deities)
Every human activity has its spiritual counterpart, or deva. A yoga practitioner may choose a deva (ishta devata) to guide their practice and spiritual path. This could be considered similar to a guardian angel in Western religions, but with more of an intimate focus, connecting the deva with the higher Self.
Vedic deity yoga, or Devas yoga, requires the awakening of the inner deities in the individual's mind and heart.