Devta is derived from the word DEV. It literally means: one who gives selflesly. Practically, it has many aspects.
Devta is refered to a person who does good deeds for others. The Bhagvad-Gita explains this in Chapter 16, called DEV-ASUR-SAMPAD-VIBHAG YOGA. There are 26 qualities described in this chapter. They define a person as Devta. Anybody can aspire to be one who can practice enough to develop these good qualities. However, it is extremely difficult to cultivate all these qualities. Partial success is certainly better than a total failure. Most of us possess these qualities to a varying degree. Chapter 17 in the Gita explains the qualities of a Devta in more detail.
In the Vedic scriptures, however, Devta is a name given to the five basic building blocks of the universe. So, there are a total of 5 Devtas only. (Hindus having uncountable Devtas is a myth. It can only mean that there are uncountable human beings who could be potential devtas.) They are: Prithvi, Jal, Agni, Vaayu and Akaash. ( In the modern scientific terminology, they are: Solids, Liquids, Energy, Gases and Vacuum.)
ॐ विश्वानि देव
सवितुर्दुरितानी परासुव I
यद् भद्रं तन्न आसुव II
OM VISHVANI DEV
YAD BHADRAM TANN ASUV
Meaning: Oh God, creator of the Universe and bestower of all the comforts, keep us away from vices, bad habits and wrong deeds. Bestow upon us that which is good and auspicious.
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