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.
This episode is dedicated to Lord Ganesha, sometimes spelt Ganesh and also referred to as Ganapati, the elephant-headed Hindu God of beginnings. He is traditionally worshipped before any major enterprise and is the patron of intellectuals, bankers, scribes, and authors. His name means both “Lord of the People” (gana means the common people) and “Lord of the Ganas” (Ganesha is the chief of the ganas, the goblin hosts of Lord Shiva).
Lord Ganesha is potbellied and generally depicted as holding in his hand a few round Indian sweets, of which he is inordinately fond. His vehicle (vahana) is the large Indian bandicoot rat, which symbolises Ganesha’s ability to overcome anything to get what he wants. Like a rat and like an elephant, Ganesha is a remover of obstacles. The 10-day late-summer (August-September) festival Ganesh Chaturthi is devoted to him.