Ramdas, Was ist das?

I’ve just returned from another trip to Florida and a couple of observant people noticed that my name as listed on Facebook is different.  My profile on Facebook now shows as “Ramdas Tyran Ormond (Ramdas)” and that has some people scratching their heads for a variety of reasons.  Before I explain the change, let me explain the reason for my most recent Florida trip.

In 2009 and 2010, I went to the Amrit Yoga Institute in Florida for the Level I (200+ hour) and Level II (500+ hour) teacher training programs.  Each program required a tremendous amount of self-study in addition to the training to be a certified Amrit Yoga teacher.  The program I just attended was only about self-study, intense self-study.  As part of the program, we had the option of receiving mantra initiation into the Lineage of Light and, as part of that initiation, to receive a Sanskrit name from Gurudev, Yogi Amrit Desai.  I can already hear the wheels spinning:  “Initiation?  New names?  What has Tyran gotten himself into?!”  I can also hear the words of the Mysterious Man from Into the Woods, “When I first appear I seem quite mysterious, but when I’m explained I’m nothing serious.“

Mantra initiation in the Lineage simply means that the student makes a commitment to practice and live yoga and to use mantra to keep that connection alive.  There is no financial commitment, no vows of celibacy nor poverty, no shaved heads.  There is only a commitment to live happy and to share that happiness with a smile, a laugh and a hug.  I have always done my best to live that way; so far, no dramatic changes.  The guru promises to love the student unconditionally and to be an unflinching mirror.  Gurudev does that whether one receives mantra initiation or not.  Again, no dramatic changes.


Sanskrit names are given from guru to student as a gift and, like any gift, can be accepted or rejected.  Sanskrit names were not required in order to receive mantra initiation.  Those who wanted a name, signed up to receive one and had their picture taken without glasses.  It was the last part that intrigued me, Gurudev wanted to see our eyes before giving any names.  We were told that some people don’t like their Sanskrit name at first and to try to not judge the name we receive.  We were also encouraged to not look up the meaning of our names for about 6 months, this was to give us time to grow into the names without expectation.


I’ve been asked a few questions about this new name of mine:  What does it mean?  What do you want me to call you now?  Why do you want a new name, don’t you like your real name?

What does it mean?

When I heard Gurudev say Ramdas, I knew immediately what my name was and what it meant; so did most of the people in the room.  Ramdas means servant of Rama or servant of God.  Ram was also known as the perfect, average man; so, Ramdas means servant of man.  Ram is also said to be the sound the heart makes:  Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram; Ramdas may also be said to mean servant of the heart.

What do you want me to call you now?

While I prefer to be called Ramdas, call me whatever makes you at ease.  Call me Ramdas or call me Tyran, just don’t call me late to dinner. 😀 [Update 2021:  Please call me Ramdas.]

Why do you want another name, don’t you like your real name?

I love my name.  My dear parents named me after a dinosaur, do you know how many times I’ve told that story over the years?  I LOVE MY NAME!  There is a tyrannosaurus rex or dinosaur book in most of the rooms in my house.  I love my name.  If I love my name so much, why would I want a new one?

I’ve been kicking around this planet for 40 years now. I have always done my best to serve God, my family and those around me.  I’ve had good times and I’ve had bad but the last two and a half years have been the happiest years of my life, why?  Ask my wife and children and they will tell you that life changed for me when I began practicing Amrit Yoga.

Here is what my sweet wife wrote to me the first day I was away for this program:

My dearest Tyran,
I went to bed last night thinking of you and awoke with those same thoughts of you in my mind.  I want you to know that I am so very glad that you have found something that brings you such joy and happiness into your life, because in doing so it is bringing those same things to our relationship and our family.  I am thankful for the changes that you have been making.  I am thankful for the changes that you have been helping me make.  As you are there at Prana Awakenings I am finding new “awakenings” in me.  I miss you and love you with all my heart.  I hope your day has been wonderful.  All my love.

Considering all of this, why would I not want a new Sanskrit name from a man who has helped me find such joy?

Now I have a question for you to consider:  Does it fit?

Jai Bhagwan,