Dhyan Bollachettira talks about his latest book “Arya Dharma: The Noble Dharma” | Interview

Dhyan Bollachettira is one of those few extraordinary souls who give up the comforts of a luxurious lifestyle, a prolific career, and the perks of a green card, to answer one’s true calling.

Born and brought up in Bangalore, the author left India in 1997 to pursue a Master’s degree in Civil engineering from the University of Florida, United States.

He later started working for leading engineering consulting companies while simultaneously promoting his family business.

Despite a lucrative career and promising future prospects, Dhyan decided to come back to India in 2009. But it was only in 2018 that he decided to pursue his true passion of two entirely unrelated endeavors – writing and farming.

Ever since then, he has never looked back.

Spending time with children, and pursuing his interests in reading and writing is what brings him immense delight and satisfaction. Never been the one to get stagnant in life, he likes to stay away from inflexible people who resist change and growth.

He loves to share his learnings and personal opinions on his blog, which he founded to inspire and enlighten people about virtuous living.

Though he has been pouring his thoughts since 2006, it was only in the middle of 2019 that he finally decided to collate it into a book format.

His debut work, “Arya Dharma: The Noble Dharma” is a foray into the world of spirituality and righteous living.

Through this book, he explores the true meaning of life and the futility of holding on to ego, expectation, and attachments. He also sheds some crucial light on how to find the right equilibrium in life.

We at bookGeeks got a lucky chance to have a candid conversation with the author.

Here’s what he has to say about his quest for wisdom, his love for writing, and about his debut work, “Arya Dharma: The Noble Dharma”.

Dhyan Bollachettira Author Interview

Tell us something about yourself. What are your likes and dislikes, your interests and passions?
I was born and raised in Bangalore. In 1997, I went to the USA to do my Master’s in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida. I joined leading Engineering consulting companies in the USA and in 2003 I won the best employee award for technical achievement in PBSJ, Florida (now Atkins SNC Lavalin USA, the world’s third-largest design firm).

I am also an A-License holder in Skydiving from the United States Parachute Association.

In 2004, I started marketing my family business in the USA and was in the USA until 2009.

Then in December 2018, I decided to follow my calling and left my family business and started to focus solely on my writing and farming.

I am much happier now following my true calling of writing and spending time with young children and nature who in my opinion are the true form of Brahman (God).

Reading, walking in nature, spending time with young children, meditation, yoga, natural farming and investing.

What I find challenging is that most people do not have a growth mindset.

They have a fixed mindset and are unable to see beyond what is already there even if it is not working well.

They have stopped learning when they finished school and have not been able to continue learning and having an open mind to acquire new knowledge.
What inspired you to write the book, “Arya Dharma: The Noble Dharma”? What can the readers expect to learn from the book?
God has blessed me with a life where I have been able to travel the world and live amongst different kinds of people and have gained a lot of life experiences, both good and bad.

I have lived in the USA for 12 years from 1997 to 2009 and even had a green card.

But though I was doing well materially in the USA, spiritually I found it very disappointing and returned to India and gave up my green card.

I wish to enlighten people of a better way based on my life's insight and experiences into our (Bharatiya) great heritage and the pathetic state we are in today blindly aping what I call the FUKUS (France, UK, USA) systems which are totally unsuitable to anybody on this planet and especially harmful to nature.

I hope readers will understand what I mean by the key to happiness.

The key to happiness is to do everything without expectations, attachment, and ego.

This is exceptionally difficult to achieve, but it actually as easy as learning to ride a bike.

Once you achieve the right balance, it’s easy to ride the bike in any terrain.

The key is to achieve balance (समत्वम्ं Samathvam or equanimity) and this only comes through ध्यान Dhyana (loosely translated as meditation).

समत्वम् Samathvam and ध्यान Dhyan are interchangeable.

One cannot exist without the other.

But समत्वम् Samathvam can only come from the practice of ध्यान Dhyan.

I have mentioned all the above in detail in my book.

I also hope my book will convince people to abandon the fraud FUKUS(France UK, USA) systems of trickle-down casino capitalism and paid democracy and adopt more sustainable and holistically profitable systems I have mentioned in my book which will not only benefit humanity and reduce inequality and oppression but also benefit nature and all beings in this world.
What kind of research has gone into writing the book? How many years did it take for you to complete it?
The genesis started in 2006 when I started a blog and used to write on it. My book only has about 70% of my work.

My blog www.aryadharma.world was my main inspiration to enlighten people that there is a better way.

Then in mid-2019, I decided to put it in a book format, and it took me about 3 months to adapt my blog content to a book format.

But this book is based on my life’s experiences and research into our great heritage ever since I started seriously on this subject in 1997.
If you had to describe the book in one short sentence, what would that be?
A better way by a unique combination of our heritage, spirituality and current affairs by going back to the future.
Take us through your writing process? Are you a method writer? Do you have a writing regimen that you follow?
I write the main underlying essence first without editing.

This hardly takes me about 2-3 hours but is based on my life’s experience and more than 20 years of research into our great heritage.

Then I flesh it out and edit it.

I don't write at a stretch. I write in blocks and always email to myself or make notes about my work on my mobile. This way I remember the trail of thought.
Tell us something about your work. You were in the global engineering consulting industry. What does that entail? Has it in any way shaped your writing?
I specialize in Geospatial science, Web-enabled Enterprise systems, Transportation and Water Resources. We provide engineering consulting solutions mostly to the government for Land Records, Water, and Transportation needs.

This has shaped my writing in these sectors. Our whole approach from the government is wrong. We all want big-ticket infrastructure and water projects that do not benefit anybody but the contractors, bureaucrats and politicians lobby.

It is better to build smaller and more localized and decentralized solutions that involve the local community needs as a primary goal.

These solutions are cheaper to build, have less impact on the environment and benefit the local community more than the big-ticket projects which are mostly white elephants which cause huge local and environmental damage and not to mention, put us in debt for generations.
What, according to you, are some of the things that are wrong with today’s world and should be changed immediately?
Our paid democracy, influenced by paid media and an ignorant easily instigated public, should be changed to a more transparent and state-funded continuous and informed democracy where there is no place at all for funding by special interests and lobbies.

Also, we should tighten our eligibility and qualification criteria for who can become leaders so that only people of an open mind, humility, competence and integrity can become leaders and not ignorant, arrogant, nepotistic and corrupt crooks and criminals like we have today.

We should ban the system to trickle down casino capitalism which only benefit 0.0001% of society and adopt the policy of Rising Tide Production by the Masses Socialist Capitalism.

We should take better care of our young, old, deprived and weakest sections of society and inflict really intimidating punishments and fines on lawbreakers so that society is safe.

I have mentioned all the flaws of today's systems and how we can remedy these flaws and move forward to a better way in my book.

I hope my book will enlighten people.

I am going back to the future. We already had this great system before the invasions and colonization.

All I ask is we go back to our great heritage albeit incorporating the good features of these modern times.

Going back to the future and placing Dharma and Seva (Selfless sacrifice) as the central indicator of the health of governance instead of quarterly GDP figures, is far more suitable not only to Bharat but also to all beings in this world.

Ram Rajya and Magadha are living proof and still mentioned millenniums after their existence even in the accounts of foreigners.

Ours is the only culture that says:

लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनोभवन्तु
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu which means"May all the Worlds become Happy."
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which means "The whole world is one family."

In our culture, there is no intermediary to reach God. In fact, the Self (Atman) is identical and a part of Brahman (the Ultimate Reality) and the Grand Pronouncement:
तत् त्वम् असि Tat Tvam Asi – Brahman is the Truth, Brahman is the Self, Brahman is You. (Chandogya Upanishad)
How many books you have read to date? Which are your favourites?
I must have read more than 200 books since school days. When I was very young, I used to read a lot of Arthur Conan Doyle and Roald Dahl. This enabled me to think analytically, differently and have an open mind.

Some of the books I still remember are the complete works of Arthur Conan Doyle and Roald Dahl

As I grew up, I was very influenced by the writings of S. Radhakrishnan, our second president who I consider one of the greatest modern philosophers, Jiddu Krishnamurthy, Sankaracharya, Swami Vivekananda and I used to listen to a lot of talks by Alan Watts.

I still read a lot nowadays and Medium.com has also become a favourite read. I also write on Medium.com.

I like the idea of Medium.com.

It is citizen-driven journalism – anybody can start writing there and there is absolutely no censorship or moderation as far as I have seen.

Most of the writers I have come across in Medium.com are analytical and free-speaking and unbiased, unlike conventional paid, biased and compliant mainstream media.

Some of the books that changed my life are:
• S. Radhakrishnan's Interpretation of the Principal Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Dhammapada and Brahmasutra
• Sankara's Bhaja Govindam, Vivekachudamani, Taittiriya Upanishad Commentary and Atma Bodha and Other Commentaries
• Jiddu’s and Alan Watts's various short speeches and writings
• Swami Vivekananda’s works
Any new writing projects that you are currently working on? Also, tell us a little about your blog. What do you write about and who is it meant for?
Based entirely on my life's experiences and insights from experts which I am following, I am working on a book on how to manage money wisely and also on a book on natural farming which is the only sustainable method of farming.
A few words of wisdom for fellow Indians.
Your ancestors gave you the greatest heritage and continuously living civilisation that ever existed in the history of the Universe with its main ideals of worship of Nature, Dharma and Seva and treating the whole world as one family (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam).

The whole world does not just mean human beings but all beings living and natural in this world.

Learn to take good care of this heritage and do not waste it and ape fraud FUKUS systems which only place money and self-interest over everything else.
A few words for bookGeeks.
Thanks for agreeing to review my book. I hope you found it worth your time and effort. I appreciate and am thankful for your efforts to review my book and for this author interview.

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