Dhruv Chhatralia BEM is an international mergers and acquisitions lawyer at a global law firm, based in the City of London, and author of 21 books on Hinduism. He has given over 325 public talks of over 350 hours between them on spirituality, including on the ‘Bhagavad Gita’, ‘Hanuman Chalisa’, the Vedas and Upanishads, and more.
In time for the mega festival celebrating Lord Shiva's divine marriage to Goddess Parvati in March 2021, this brand-new series for the iSpirituality Show kicks off with insights into the significance of this date in the Hindu calendar and explores how to tap into an upsurge of the positive energy on this auspicious occasion.
In this episode for the Dharma Discourses, Dhruv Chhatralia takes a trip down memory lane on his learnings from enlightened Indian gurus and how he set off on his journey of spirituality. "Everything I am today is because of the blessings of the people who are greater than me and what I have learnt from them," he shares.
Shri Krishna is the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, born in the Dvapara Yuga in Mathura, and is known as the Purushottam Avatar. Lord Vishnu, as the protector of the universe, incarnates himself to restore the balance of Dharma over adharma.
Shri Krishna was born on Ashtami (8th day of the lunar fortnight) in the holy month of Shraavana, which falls annually in August/September, and Krishna Janmashtami, also known as Janmashtami, is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates this event. This episode goes into the deep insights behind this divine birth and what it teaches us today.
In this episode, we explore the significance of Aum and the numbers 18 and 108 in Hinduism. Aum is the prime mantra and sound of Ishwar and the Atman. Aum is split into A, U and M, with A symbolising creation, the waking state, Brahma the creator and peace to the physical body; U as sustaining, the dream state, Vishnu the preserver and peace to the mind; and M as dissolution, the deep sleep state, Shiva the transformer and peace to the intellect.
In Vedic thought, the numbers 18 and 108 are of great significance. The Mahabharat has 18 parts. There are 18 chapters in the Bhagavad Gita. There are 108 beads in a mala which Hindus use to perform jap where they recite a mantra 108 times. The average distance between the Sun and the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Sun. The average distance between the Moon and the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Moon.
In this episode, we explore the significance of symbolism of Lord Ganesh, and the leadership qualities we can learn from Lord Ganesh. We pray to Lord Ganesh at the beginning of any ritual because He removes obstacles. The meaning of His name Ganesh or Ganapati is "group leader". Each part of Ganesh Ji's body symbolises a leadership quality. By meditating on Lord Ganesh, we learn effective leadership qualities.
Worshiping Ganesh Ji, with proper understanding of Ganesh Ji’s symbolism, a devotee absorbs the qualities needed to become a great leader. Henceforth, with Ganesh Ji's grace, he learns how to remove obstacles from his path and be successful. The 10-day late-summer (August-September) festival Ganesh Chaturthi is devoted to Lord Ganesh.
For thousands of years, the Rishis proclaimed that there is life and consciousness in plants. This was only discovered by science in the early 20th century. Hindus worship the divinity in plants and as a symbol of this they keep Tulasi in their homes. Tulasi purifies the atmosphere in the house. It is a quality of Tulasi that it emits O³ into the atmosphere and makes it ozone rich. A person's efficiency increases because of this.
In this episode, Dhruv Chhatralia reflects upon why we worship the Tulasi plant, the medicinal benefits of the Tulasi plant, what the Sanskrit language reveals about plants, and the spiritual significance and medicinal benefits of the Bilwa plant.
Cows are considered sacred in Hinduism and are worshipped by millions of Hindus around the world. When we were young our mothers provided us with milk and then for the rest of our lives cows provide us with milk. Therefore we should see a cow as our mother. The whole Indian civilisation was based on cows and all great Gurus in Indian culture had a love and adoration for cows.
The hump of a cow is the shape of a Shivling and it amplifies the energy that it gets from the atmosphere. A hoof of a cow is a non-conductor of electricity and therefore this energy that is picked up stays inside the cow instead of going into the ground; it is earthed. This powerful energy is saved inside a cow and comes out in three ways: cow’s milk's, cow’s urine and cow’s excrement. Each of these have spiritual, mental, physical, medical and economical benefits which are enhanced when cows are protected, served and looked after.
This episode looks at why we worship cows, the importance of Gau Raksha (protection of, service to and looking after cows), the spiritual symbolism of the hump of a cow, how cows bring purity in our lives and the significance of cow’s milk, cow dung and cow urine.