Ramdas Appearance Day

On April 10, 2011, Gurudev gave me the name Ramdas.

If you click below, you can listen to that moment.

Five years ago, I made that name legal, Ramdas Tyran Rex Ormond.

People still ask what they should call me.  I’ve learned that it really doesn’t matter what I want.  Until that other person takes the time to understand why it was important to me to petition a court for a name change, I will always be some version of Tyran in their mind.  Or, rather, they will be stuck living with a version of history that no longer exists.  I find that unfortunate.

In a way, this set the stage for when James came out as transgender.  I still treasure the name Shanna and I gave our youngest child but that name no longer accurately describes that child.  Trying to hold onto that name would be like trying to hold onto the wind or to stop a waterfall with an outstretched hand.

Whether a person changes their name or not, the way they show up in life—their personality—changes dramatically.  If someone hurts us, we tend to trap that person in our minds and say that they can never change.  When we trap them in the past like this, we trap ourselves there as well.

The thing is, this happens not only with people who hurt us.  We see someone who is dear to us and we might say something like, "Look at you!  You haven’t changed one bit.  What’s your secret?"  Perhaps their looks really haven’t changed very much in our mind.  But saying, "You haven’t changed one bit," isn’t really a complement.  Unknowingly, it’s a denial of everything that person has experienced since the last time we saw them.  It’s also an unconscious admission that we’ve trapped them and ourselves in the past.

Throughout history, name changes mark momentous events in life.  In some societies, coming-of-age is a reason for a name change.  In others it could be something as simple as getting married.  In others it happens when taking on a vocation or receiving an initiation such as becoming a priest or a nun or a swami.

For others is it occurs because they have realized who they are and the old name no longer really fits.  Saul became Paul.  Jesus became the Christ.  Siddhārtha Gautama became Buddha.  My son became James.

Gurudev called me Ramdas.  I hope you will too.

Jai Bhagwan

You can read what I wrote about receiving the name Ramdas 10 years ago by reading, Ramdas, Was ist das?