Living the dream: Dhruv reflects on winning award in New Year’s Honours

Living the dream: Dhruv reflects on winning award in New Year’s Honours

Old Elizabethan and City lawyer Dhruv Chhatralia has been giving his reaction after receiving a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

An international mergers and acquisitions lawyer with global law firm Gowling WLG, Dhruv (OE 1996-2003) is also a regular speaker on the benefits of yoga and the importance of strong mental health. He is the author of 21 books on Hinduism and has given more than 325 public talks totalling over 350 hours on spirituality.

After receiving the BEM ‘for services to Hinduism and to developing young people’, he has spoken  of his surprise at being nominated for the award and of the importance of maintaining mental wellness in order to successfully manage the challenges of the modern world.

In a statement published by his firm, Dhruv said: “I was honoured to find out that I had been nominated for this award; it was completely unexpected.

“The importance of wellbeing and taking care of your mental health can’t be underestimated, and it’s a privilege to work with young people and professionals, many in high-pressure roles, to help them find practical solutions for mental wellness. It’s certainly helped me in my own role as a lawyer.”

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “My warm congratulations go to Dhruv on this notable achievement. We try to inspire in our boys the value of working for the good of others and are always keen to celebrate those in the School community who embody this. It is therefore a great pleasure to hear about Dhruv’s own very telling contribution.”

After leaving QE, Dhruv went to Kings College London to read Law and then trained at the BPP Law School.

His achievements include:

  • Writing the longest-ever English commentaries on the great Indian works, the Bhagavad Gita, the Hanuman Chalisa and the Shree Suktam, between them comprising more than 3,467 pages. All the proceeds from these books went to charity.
  • Creating a programme of more than 180 Bhagavad Gita, Hanuman Chalisa and Shree Suktam classes in English to educate young people about the Indian scriptures.
  • Speaking on Hinduism to the British Army and at the House of Commons, House of Lords, Home Office, Ministry of Defence and Metropolitan Police, as well as at many major companies and at community halls around the UK.
  • Conducting a live yoga session in the City of London that was televised nationally by the BBC.

“I am honoured and humbled to receive this recognition from the Queen,” he said. “My dream has been to make these enriching Dharmic teachings available to everyone in English without any costs, travel, commitments or other obstacles. I hope that this recognition inspires many young Indians to take up volunteering service to the community in order to preserve, protect and promote this beautiful wisdom.

“I bow down to Shree Krishna for blessing me on this wonderful journey and for moulding my character through His teachings in the Bhagavad Gita. I would like to thank my parents for bringing me up with Dharmic values and for instilling in me the qualities of hard work, selflessness and service towards other people. I also offer my obediences to my Gurus and the entire Indian Guru tradition for inspiring me with the teachings of the great Indian scriptures.”