OUR SPEAKER: DHRUV CHHATRALIA
Empowering and enriching people around the world with the message of the Bhagavad Gita and Yoga
Dhruv Chhatralia is an international mergers and acquisitions lawyer at a global law firm based in the City of London, author of 21 books on Hinduism and he has given over 400 public talks of over 450 hours between them on spirituality including on the Bhagavad Gita, Hanuman Chalisa, Ramayan, Shrimad Bhagavad, Shree Suktam, Devi Mahatmaya, the Upanishads, the Vedas, Yoga and Meditation that are watched in over 161 countries around the world, with over 400,000 views on YouTube and over 320,000 fans on facebook.
Dhruv was included in Her Majesty The Queen’s 2020 New Year Honours List for the award of a BEM for voluntary service to Hinduism and developing young people. He has spoken on Hinduism at the British Army, House of Commons, House of Lords, Home Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Metropolitan Police, BT, PricewaterhouseCoopers, EY, Nomura International Bank, Barclays Bank, Macquarie Bank Group, EDF Energy, State Bank of India, CMS Cameron McKenna, Mayer Brown, Intercontinental Hotel, AasthaTV channel, Zee TV, BBC nationwide television, BBC radio, the Commonwealth Journalists Association, Nusoundradio, TeluguVani radio, Kings College London, and at community halls in Central London, North London, Croydon, Leyton, Kingston, Luton, Nottingham and Ipswich. A live Yoga session by Dhruv Chhatralia in the City was televised nationally on BBC national television. He has not charged a single penny for any of his books or talks, and earns all of his living as a lawyer.
Practising as an international mergers and acquisitions lawyer in the City of London for the past 12 years, Dhruv has worked on major cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions. He has won multiple awards for Client Feedback of the Year (10 out of 10), was named Rising Star in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and business affairs by the Super Lawyers publication, and was named as a Key Lawyer in Venture Capital by the Legal 500 directory in three consecutive years from 2020 and 2022.
He also led an employee network that was shortlisted for Outstanding Employee Network Group of the Year at the European Diversity Awards for three consecutive years in a row (held at both the Savoy and the Natural History Museum), was shortlisted for Excellence in Equality and Diversity at the Law Society Excellence Awards (held at the Old Billingsgate in London), and won the award for Best Diversity & Inclusion Network/Event at the CSR Awards in 2012 and 2013. The Network has active members from nine different faiths and its events regularly attract people from different backgrounds.
Dhruv wrote the longest ever English commentaries on the great Indian works the Bhagavad Gita, the Hanuman Chalisa and the Shree Suktam in history, between them comprising over 3,467 pages, over 2.4 million words and over 10.5 million characters between them. All the proceeds from these books went to charity. He then created a programme of over 180 Bhagavad Gita, Hanuman Chalisa and Shree Suktam classes in English to educate youngsters about the Eastern scriptures. Dhruv holds six certifications in Yoga, Mantra Shastra, Ayurveda Lifestyle, Jyotish Shastra, Ayurvedic Jyotish and Integral Vedic Counselling from two educational institutions that are internationally renowned and respected.
On 7 August 2014 Dhruv made history after successfully completing 154 weeks and 225 hours of continuous 140 weekly talks on the Bhagavad Gita at a City law firm over the course of three years, at an event described by a Member of Parliament (Seema Malhotra MP) as "a triumphant moment in the history of Hinduism" and by the former Deputy Prime Minister (Nick Clegg MP) as "a historic completion". These talks were attended by thousands of young professionals in the City.
On 17 November 2015 history was made when Dhruv gave the first ever talk on Bhagavan Vishwakarma at the House of Commons of the British Parliament at a special event to celebrate Vishwakarma Day. Dhruv was presented with a Rudraksh and an honoury shawl by the Vishwakarma Community London after giving an inspirational speech on Bhagavan Vishwakarma (at the time his third speech in Parliament in three months). The event was celebrated by members of the Hindu and Sikh communities in reverence to Bhagavan Vishwakarma and was also attended by Members of Parliament, Lords, leaders of the community and leading medical, engineering and architecture professionals to celebrate an auspicious day that is a national holiday in India.
Dhruv was presented with the prestigious Bharat Gaurav Award at a special ceremony in Delhi on 8 January 2016 by Indian federal and state government officials including His Excellency Kaptan Singh Solanki (the Governor of Punjab and Haryana), Chaudhary Birender Singh (Honourable Minister of the Indian Federal Government) and His Excellency Bhisma Narain Singh (the Former Governor of Tamil Nadu and Assam).
On 24 February 2016 Dhruv made history by speaking at both Houses of the British Parliament in one evening. On 7 July 2016 Dhruv gave his 250th talk on the Hanuman Chalisa at the House of Commons of the British Parliament. This event also celebrated five years since Dhruv gave his first public talk on 15 July 2011 and the launch of the second edition of the Hanuman Chalisa book written by Dhruv . The occasion featured an inspirational talk by Dhruv on "The Secrets of Success in Career Management according to the Hanuman Chalisa". The event was hosted by Bob Blackman MP and was attended by Members of Parliament, Lords, members of the media and other dignitaries and community leaders. Over 210 people attended the event and there were over 180 people on the waiting list, such was the demand behind and popularity of Dhruv Bhai 250th talk.
On 10 July 2017 Dhruv became the first person in history to recite the entire Ramayan at the British Parliament. This event also celebrated six years since Dhruv Bhai gave his first public talk on 15 July 2011 and the launch of the Shrimad Bhagavad: a Divine Journey book. The historic event was hosted by Bob Blackman MP and attended by Michael Ellis MP (the Deputy Leader of the House of Commons), Matthew Offord MP, Richard Harrington MP, Royston Smith MP, David Tredinnick MP, members of the media and other dignitaries and community leaders from seven different faith backgrounds. Over 300 people had registered for the occasion with 200 people on the waiting list including the presidents or chairpersons of over 27 national Hindu organisations. This event united the Hindu community in a way that nobody thought would be possible.
On 23 October 2017 Dhruv became the first person in history to recite the Shree Suktam of the Rig Veda at the British Parliament at an event hosted by Bob Blackman MP and attended by Lord Gadhia, Lord Popat, Crispin Blunt (Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee), Maria Miller MP (Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee), Sir David Amess MP, two Indian television stars and over 350 registered attendees including the chairpersons of over 35 national Indian organisations and community leaders from eight different religious backgrounds. The event had 350 persons registered within only two days and a waiting list of 300 persons within just one week of the announcement, such was the level of enthusiasm generated.
On 11 December 2017 Dhruv became the first person in history to recite the Bhagavad Gita at the British Parliament at an event in the House of Lords hosted by Lord Popat and Lord Gadhia. This event celebrated the momentous and historic occasion of the successful completion of SHYAM's third historic Gita Gnyan Maha Yagna on social media after 840 continuous days by 28 of SHYAM’s teachers trained by Dhruv. It also celebrated for the first time at the House of Lords the festival of Gita Jayanti, the auspicious day on which the divine wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita was spoken by ShreeKrushna to Arjuna.
On 8 May 2018 Dhruv became the first person in history to recite the Shrimad Bhagavad and to give a talk on the life of ShreeKrushna at the British Parliament. This event celebrated Dhruv Bhai's 300th talk, seven years since Dhruv gave his first public talk and the launch of the Rukhmini’s Love Letter book. The event was hosted by Bob Blackman MP and attended by Andrea Leadsom MP (the Leader of the House of Commons and the Lord President of the Council), Neil O’Brien MP, chairpersons of over 30 national Hindu organisations and community leaders from eight different religious backgrounds. The audience members were moved the tears by the beautiful descriptions of ShreeKrushna’s Leelas (Divine Acts).
On 30 October 2018 Dhruv completed a historic three-year journey of talks on the Shree Suktam of the Rig Veda at the British Parliament hosted by Bob Blackman MP and attended by UK Home Minister Sajid Javid MP, Lord Gadhia, Theresa Villiers MP and Baroness Neville-Rolfe and over 200 people including the chairpersons of over 35 national Indian organisations and community leaders from eight different religious backgrounds. The event had over 350 registered attendees within only two days of the announcement including renowned politicians, movie stars, media personalities, community leaders and professionals from all over the City, and there was a huge waiting list of 300 within just one week of the announcement.
On 5 June 2019 Dhruv became the first person in history to give a talk on the Bhagavad Gita at the House of Commons at the British Parliament. The event was hosted by Bob Blackman MP, Miss India UK Anusha Sareeen, chairpersons of over 30 national Indian organisations and community leaders from eight different religious backgrounds. It featured an inspirational l talk on the Bhagavad Gita by Dhruv. The book book Shiva: Lord of Yoga was launched at the event.
On 5 November 2019 Dhruv became the first person in history to recite the Devi Mahatmaya at the British Parliament at an event at the House of Lords hosted by Lord Gadhia and attended by Baroness Prashar and a fully packed room in the House of Lords. This is also the first time that Diwali was celebrated in the House of Lords and SHYAM’s 11th Diwali celebrations in nine years. The event involved two hours of talks on the symbolism and stories of the Goddesses Durga, Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati. Dhruv Chhatralia also left the audience captivated by the beautiful mantras in devotion to the Hindu deities.
On 23 October 2020 Dhruv was presented with the prestigious BEM national award by the UK Government on the 7th day of the auspicious festival of Navaratri after being included in Her Majesty The Queen’s 2020 New Year Honours List for voluntary service to Hinduism and developing young people. The award was presented at a special ceremony in Stevens House Manor by Mr Martin Russell Esq, the Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Barnet in the presence of Major Kevin Tuhey QVRM TD VR.
On 25 May 2022 Dhruv was invited to Buckingham Palace to meet members of the Royal Family after being included in Her Majesty The Queen’s 2020 New Year Honours List for voluntary service to Hinduism and developing young people. The event took place just before the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Various members of the Royal Family were present at the occasion including Prince William, Princess Kate, Princess Beatrice, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
On 23 May 2023 Dhruv gave his 400th talk on the Hanuman Chalisa at the House of Commons of the British Parliament. This event also celebrated 12 years since Dhruv gave his first public talk. The occasion featured a groundbreaking talk by Dhruv on "The Secrets of Success in Career Management according to the Hanuman Chalisa" continuing from his talk on the Hanuman Chalisa at Parliament in 2016. The event was hosted by Bob Blackman MP and was attended by Sir Graham Brady MP (chairperson of the 1922 Committee), the chairpersons of over 40 national Indian organisations and community leaders from eight different religious backgrounds. Over 210 people attended the event and there were over 200 people on the waiting list.
In 2014 Dhruv gave a talk on the Bhagavad Gita to the British Army. In 2015 he spoke on the Ramayan and Hanuman Chalisa at the British Government Home Office. In 2016 he spoke on the Lessons on Leadership we can learn from Lord Ganesh to the Metropolitan Police at New Scotland Yard, the Home Office and the British Civil Service at Whitehall, and then he gave a talk on the Goddess Durga and Women's Empowerment to the Metropolitan Police at the Empress State Building. In 2017 he spoke on the Lessons of Success and Contentment we can learn from Lord Shiva to the Metropolitan Police at New Scotland Yard, and spoke about the Life Message of Shree Ram to the Metropolitan Police at the Empress State Building. He was also presented with an award for outstanding service to society by Neil Basu, the Assistant Commissioner of Specialist Operations of the Metropolitan Police Service.
In 2018 Dhruv became the first person to recite the Ramayan and the Mahabharat to the Metropolitan Police at New Scotland Yard, and then he became the first person to give a talk on ShreeKrushna and the Shrimad Bhagavatam to the Metropolitan Police at the Empress State Building. In 2019 Dhruv became the first person in history to give a talk on the Symbolism of Vishnu and the concept of Avatars in Hinduism to the Metropolitan Police at New Scotland Yard and was presented with an award for outstanding service to society by the Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Stephen House. In 2020 Dhruv became the first person in history to give a talk on the life of Shree Ram to the UK Ministry of Justice.
Dhruv has been invited in the presence several prominent persons including: several Hindu Yogis, Sadhus, Sants and Scholars; Buddhist and Jain Monks and Scholars; the India, Nepal and UK Prime Ministers; the former India Vice President; Members of the UK Royal Family; the Indian National Security Advisor; several India, Nepal and UK Senior Goverment Ministers; several India State Governors and Chief Ministers; several India, Nepal and UK Members of Parliament; several Lord Mayors of London; the Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations of the Metropolitan Police; the Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner; senior members of the India, Nepal and UK armed forces; chief editors of India, Nepal and UK national newspapers; several Indian High Commissioners; the Ambassadors of many countries; several India and England cricketers (former and current); and many renowned India, Nepal, UK and USA musicians, film actresses, actors, directors and producers.
Dhruv's talks are broadcast on YouTube around the world, with people in countries such as diverse as El Salvador, Iraq, Ethiopia, Laos and Ecuador being educated about spirituality. A large proportion of the attendees to his talks are non-Hindu because of the universal nature of his talks, and because he has brought positive changes to the lives of people from all backgrounds. His talks provide the teaching materials of the websites of several major organisations including the Hindu Council UK and the National Hindu Students Forum. Every week Dhruv's talks have rooms packed with enthusiastic professionals.
Dhruv set up SHYAM as an educational not-for-profit organisation to empower and educate individuals of all backgrounds with the wisdom of Eastern culture and provide a practical means to lead a life of excellence, success and inner wealth. The organisation now has over 3,500 members in the UK alone as well as many more worldwide. His talks include teachings from all the world's religions, as well as several other Eastern and Western schools of thought. As a result he has created a diverse and inclusive organisation with more non-Hindu members (83%) than Hindu members (17%) and members from all the largest faiths in the world being their most active members working together as a family.
Dhruv's work appeals directly to young people. He has embraced social networking and created a facebook page (www.facebook.com/gitaclass), which now has over 320,000 fans. Dhruv's talks are available for free on SHYAM's webpage: www.gitaclass.org. He has been on the radio, press articles and internet broadcasts, and has given talks directly to youths throughout the UK to empower them.
His talks use practical examples from the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology to prove the timeless truths of ancient scriptures to address hundreds of key topics and issues affecting young students and professionals including: meditation, fearlessness, stress management, relationships at work, women's empowerment, professional success, goal setting and life management. And the result is his audiences include lawyers, bankers, accountants, judges, scientists, doctors, dentists and pharmacists. During his talks on women's empowerment, some women were moved to tears because they considerably increased their self-esteem by attending the sessions.
Dhruv has raised thousands of pounds for charities and has actively campaigned for years for important causes such as preserving Sanskrit in the UK educational curriculum, rights for women in the Asian community and declaring places of pilgrimage in Asia as world heritage sites.
Dhruv was brought up in the UK and had to learn Sanskrit outside his educational curriculum in order to be able to access Indian scriptures and to convey them in an understandable manner in the English language. The mission of Dhruv's life is to make these empowering teachings available to everyone in English without any costs, travel, commitments or other obstacles. The biggest challenge facing Indian youths around the world is their identity, their values and their culture. The world needs people like Dhruv who will sacrifice their time to preserve, protect and promote our culture. Dhruv wishes to spread these teachings all around the world and to give everyone access to them in order to fulfil their potential in life and to discover their gifts within.
His aim is to establish a system of education that will make people feel richer within and is inspired to understand spirituality in its universal perspective, without religious or sectarian boundaries. He has trained 33 people with no spiritual background to become SHYAM's speakers and wishes to train them to achieve greater feats in the coming years.