Who is Rama’s Dharma Heir?
(by Chinjandra) “I will come and go in this world and be forgotten. That’s freedom. But I do have a role to play in this cosmic game. I may ease the suffering of another; I may give joy or I may die in the attempt. But I must play my role be it great or small. That’s humility.” Rama, Purity & Humility
At Lenz Foundation conferences, Buddhist monks from multiple traditions speak about the dharma heir of their lineage. In most cases, they are speaking of a single individual who is responsible to carry on the lineage by spreading the dharma (as reflected in their teacher’s teachings) when the teacher leaves the body.
When I and other Rama students are questioned “Who is Rama’s dharma heir?”, I have noticed that we are quick to reply that Rama did not leave a dharma heir.
It strikes me that this assertion is untrue. Rama left a dharma heir. Didn’t he? In fact, he left many dharna heirs, each with the empowerment of an enlightened teacher to do our unique part to live and share the dharma. Each is a unique piece of an enlightened mandala.
As an enlightened, tantric master in the Kali Yuga, it makes sense that Rama’s lineage does not follow a traditional prescription. When we were ordained, Rama told us that when he left the body we were to teach. I believe “teach” was meant broadly. In other words, that we were to spread the dharma in our own unique way.
I believe my fellow monks each teach in their own unique way – one of them works to save marine animals, another breeds Scotties, another runs a company which was started by Rama, another writes stories of their spiritual adventures, another is a mentor as part of her corporate business…
“But wherever they are, whatever they’re doing, you’ll see this beautiful childlike simplicity. If you look inside them. You’ll see God then. In varying degrees, depending on how much they have meshed their consciousness with God.” Rama, How to Make Friends with God
I wonder if we each identified ourselves (to ourselves and others) as Rama’s dharma heirs, how much more completely we would mesh our lives, our actions, and our consciousness with God?