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bound by dharma, a bhakta

The beginning of StarfishWay Today was many years ago:

what’s in a name?

it’s not all the same to me, although I am the same me …. only, better! **Shya Shravana, Padma Shyamananda, Lyann Valadez …

It is not uncommon for people to change their names as they progress through life… it seems unreasonable to me that I am not allowed to do the same — and, as with everything I have experienced thus far in my life, even changing my name is unnecessarily complicated largely by forces outside of my control. Above all other names, Padma Shyamananda is my own… I don’t really mind having multiple names as long as people don’t misconstrue what this actually means. For me, I can usually tell who knows me “how” by what name they call me or what method they use to contact me.

My husband combined his last name Valadez with my maiden name deCordre’ to come up with Valdecor many years ago; many people know me as LyannV
Light for your path

Guiding Words

from a spiritual master:

Lead a life of self-restraint, service, devotion, spirituality, and meditation. Speak the truth. Do not injure any living being. Help your neighbour. This is the Divine Life. Live this Divine Life! Realise the indwelling Divine Being. God grant you Peace, Bliss and Immortality.

May the Light of lights guide you in the path to the Eternal every moment of your life. May success be yours. May you attain God-realisation in this very birth and put an end to all misery and suffering!

May the choicest blessing of God and Guru be upon you all!

With deepest regards, Prem and Pranams,

Yours in Sri Gurudev.

Swami Chidananda


a prayer

May we hear only what is good for all.

May we see only what is good for all.

May we serve you, Lord of Love, all our life.

May we be used to spread your peace on earth.

OM shanti shanti shanti

food for thought:

Maitreya said: When Kardama left for the forest, Lord Kapila stayed on the strand of the Bindu-sarovara to please His mother, Devahūti.

In the absence of the father it is the duty of the grown son to take charge of his mother and serve her to the best of his ability so that she will not feel separation from her husband. It is also the duty of the husband to leave home as soon as there is a grown son to take charge of his wife and family affairs. That is the Vedic system of household life. One should not remain continually implicated in household affairs up to the time of death. He must leave. Family affairs and the wife may be taken charge of by a grown son.

We cannot very easily understand the actual truth of religious systems, but if we follow these mahājanas, we can understand. Kapila Muni explained the glories of devotional service to His mother, Devahūti. If we follow Him, we may learn the truth of devotional service. According to the system of varṇāśrama-dharma, one who is over fifty years of age must leave home, go to the forest and completely devote his life to spiritual realization. This is the actual varṇāśrama-dharma system. It is not a Hindu system, for the word “Hindu” is a name given by the Muslims and does not occur in any Vedic literature. However, the varṇāśrama-dharma is mentioned. Civilized human beings should strictly follow the varṇāśrama institution. If one is born a brāhmaṇa, he is trained nicely as a brahmacārī, and then he becomes a gṛhastha, a householder. When he gives up his home, he is called a vānaprastha, and after that he may take sannyāsa. Being a yogī, Kardama Muni strictly followed these principles; therefore as soon as Kapiladeva was grown, Devahūti was placed in His charge. Kardama Muni then left home. As stated in this verse: pitari prasthite ’raṇyaṁ mātuḥ priya-cikīrṣayā.

According to the Manu-saṁhitā, a woman should never be given freedom. When she is not under the protection of her husband, she must be under the protection of her sons. Women cannot properly utilize freedom, and it is better for them to remain dependent. A woman cannot be happy if she is independent. That is a fact. In Western countries we have seen many women very unhappy simply for the sake of independence. That independence is not recommended by the Vedic civilization or by the varṇāśrama-dharma. Consequently Devahūti was given to her grown son, Kapiladeva, and Kapiladeva was fully aware that He had to take care of His mother. It is the duty of the father to protect his daughter until she attains puberty and is married to a suitable young man. The husband then takes care of the wife. Generally a man should marry at around twenty-five years of age, and a girl should marry no later than sixteen. If this is the case, when the man is fifty years old, his eldest son should be around twenty-five, old enough to take charge of the mother. According to this calculation, Kapiladeva was about twenty-five years old and was quite able to take charge of His mother, Devahūti. He knew that because His father left His mother in His charge, He should take care of her and always please her. Mātuḥ priya-cikīrṣayā. Kapiladeva was not irresponsible, but was always ready to please His mother.

available for free, as most things are that I share
my son, Zack, and my husband, Jody

please do not misconstrue words that have a different meaning than we have come to think in the west. while the original Starfish Way was a blog for sharing day brighteners, StarfishWay Today is meant to be a mind brightener — mostly I would like to dispel the negative and incorrect perceptions there are of Hinduism here in the west. I was raised Christian, I live in the Bible belt, but I realized a decade or so ago that I have been Hindu my entire life and just did not realize that was the name for it…it’s actually Sanatana Dharma, the Eternal Way. It really is what everyone says they are looking for…

discussion is welcome, but hate and anger are not.

takes some longer than others to get this