In Dharmachakra we gather for collective meditation in a format given by our Guru, Shrii Shrii Anandamurti. Dharma Chakra, also called Sadhana, Samga, Satsaunga, is a group meditation format where spiritual seekers come together to follow Dharma, the spiritual way of life. The essential nature of human beings is to follow Bhagavad Dharma, to realize God within. And so we gather together in Dharma Chakra to realize our deepest Dharma.
Dharmachakra (Sadhana Samgha Satsaunga) Includes the following:
Kiirtan, Spiritual Dance with Chanting
Chanting of Guru Giita
Sam'gacchadhvam', Chant before Meditation
Silent Meditation with the group
Nityam Shudham Chant to end Meditation
Guru Puja Chant, Offering
Dharma Talk and Discussion
DHARMACHAKRA: SADHANA SAMGHA SATSAUNGA Dharmachakra is a format for group meditation that supports the deepening of spiritual experience and fosters a sense of spiritual community. Those regularly participating in dharmachakra typically experience an open flow of divine love, affirmation of spiritual insights, and generation of spiritual vitality.
The practice of dharmachakra is ancient. Dharma is our innate human urge to become fully aware of the Self, to know the Divine. Chakra literally means wheel and implies center or focal point. So dharmachakra can be thought of as an epicenter through which dharma becomes vitalized and divine energies can readily flow into and sustain human life.
Dharmachakra combines features having deep roots in spiritual tradition along with more contemporary practices. It often begins with singing spiritual songs, or bhajans. These may be whatever songs people like and find uplifting. What is important is the upliftment of spirit through song and music.
KIIRTAN The bhajans are followed by padkirtan, a movement meditation involving chanting mantra with rythmic movement. Kirtan comes from the word kirti, which means to glorify. This practice was first started in the 14th century by the saint Chaitanya Prabhu. In Bhakti Yoga it focuses the mind for sitting meditation in much the same way that pranayama is used in Hatha yoga practices.
We use the Sanskrit mantra Baba Nama Kevalama. This is a mantric incantation that affirms the pervasiveness of divine love. It literally means "Only the Name of the Beloved", or Love is all there is.
Kiirtan is combined with a simple dance step called lalita marmika, a dance created thousands of years ago by Lord Shiva. Lalita marmika is done with a gesture, or mudra, holding the arms up, expresses the openness of the heart. And rythmic placement of toe behind the heel, which acts to stimulate the pineal gland and draw the mind into inner concentration and love.
OPENING CHANT After kiirtan, the Samgacchadvam hymn is sung three times collectively. Samgacchadvam comes from the Rig Veda, perhaps the most ancient and venerable spiritual scripture known. This hymn affirms with poetic beauty the spirit of human unity – unity based on love and concern for the welfare of all.
MEDITATION There is then a period of silent meditation, usually lasting for a half hour. During this time, people may use their individual meditation technique.
ENDING CHANT Meditation is ended by the soft singing of the short chant, Nityam Shudam, which is taken from the Guru Giita, a devotional scripture given by the great yogi, Shiva. The Nityam Shudham hymn is a remembrance of the divine qualities, expressing respect to that sacred essence at the core of our being.
GURU PUJA Meditation is often followed by Guru Puja, an offering of the burdens of the mind to the Eternal Self. During the Guru Puja we offer in the palms of our hands a visualized lotus flower. The multicolored petals represent the colorful thoughts, both positive and negative, that occupy our minds as well as the burdens we carry.
We offer these by placing the flower before the Divine Guru three times. During the last two lines of the chant we surrender back all that we have to the One Eternal Guru. Through this practice one can lighten their mental and emotional burdens and free themselves from that which the ego tries to identify with, allowing the expression of a deeper sense of self. The source of the mantric chant used in Guru Puja is the Guru Giita.
DHARMA TALK AND DISCUSSION After Guru Puja may come a talk or discussion on a spiritual subject. This discussion may be led or initiated by a member of the gathered spiritual community, or may be a more open and participatory discussion. It may go into a topic of spiritual philosophy, or it may deal with practical issues of spiritual life of which all present have experience and insight to share.
Should people wish, they may then move into a more social flow, sharing announcements of relevance to those gathered and having a meal together. Dharmacakra is a powerful spiritual practice in which a group of people create a focus of spiritual feeling from which divine love and peace flow forth, vitalizing the spirit of dharma in human life.
Group Meditation Chants
SAM'GACCHADHVAM' (Chant from the Rg Veda to Begin Meditation)
SAM'GACCHADHVAM' Let us move together,
SAM'VADADHVAM' Let us sing together,
SAM'VOMANA'M'SI JA'NATA'M Let us come to know our minds together,
DEVA'BHA'GAM' YATHA' PU'RVE Let us share, like sages of the past,
SAM'JANA'NA' UPA'SATE That all people together may enjoy the universe,
SAMA'NII VA A'KUTI Unite our intention,
SAMA'NA' HRIDAYA' NIVAH Let our hearts be inseparable,
SAMA'NAMASTU VO MANO Our mind is as one mind,
YATHA' VAH SUSAHA'SATI As we to truly know one another become One.
NITYAM SHUDHAM (Chant from the Guru Gita to End Meditation)
Eternal, pure, indescribable Entity, Formless, without blemish, Omniscient, blissful Consciousness, To that Guru Brahma I pay my salutations.
NITYA'NANDAM' PARAMASUKHADAM' KEVALA'NANDAMU'RTIM VISHVA'TIITAM' GAGANASADRSHAM' TAT TVAM ASYA'DI LAKS'AM. Thou part Eternal Bliss, the Giver of Infinite Happiness, The only Bliss Incarnate; Thou art beyond the universe, resembling the sky; Thou maketh me to realize "Thou art That".
Thou art One, Eternal, the Purest of the Pure, unmoving Thou art, The witnessing counterpart of all Being, Thou beyond the realm of existence, devoid of the three gunas (creative principles), To Thee, Sadguru, I pay my salutations.
GURU PUJA (From the Guru Gita)
During the Guru Puja (after meditation) we offer in the palms of our hands a visualized lotus flower. The multi-colored petals represent the colorful thoughts that occupy our minds and burdens we carry. Whether positive or negative, we offer these by placing the flower before the Divine Guru three times. During the last two lines of the chant all that we have we surrender back, in the form of a beautiful lotus, to the One Eternal Guru.
AKHANDA MANDALA KARAM VYAPTAM YENA CARA CARAM TAT PADAM DARSHITAM YENA TASMAE SHRII GURAVE NAMAH.
To the One by whom the endless mandala of creation is formed, Who permeates both the moving and the unmoving, To that esteemed Guru I pay my salutations