Deepak Chopra: From Doctor to Healer

Deepak Chopra reveals himself as finding peace in medicine. This naturally lead from medicine to healer. Indeed the healer is the one who does not just prescribe medication but looks into the heart of health, finding the natural balance where mind, body and spirit meet. This is the epicentre of health. I wonder if we were in balance whether sickness would occur at all. Some state the body has a longer life.

I felt when I was clowning in hospitals we were treating the heart of the person. I felt that as people laugh they forget their pain. I believe people can heal themselves when they believe. I recall reading about a case where a woman had breast cancer and she decided to beat it, she prescribed comedies and watched them all the time. She went into remission. I also spoke to a Italian priest running a HIV clinic in Thailand, he said that he found humour and positivity caused some patients to go into remission. So the idea for me, of body, mind and spirit feels a wholistic way of approaching health and balance in life. There is so much sorrow in the world, I am certain it is the cause of many illnesses and definitely depression. So alternative medicines and approaches are interesting. The chinese medicine practitioners can’t be all wrong they have a history of 2000 years. They relate healing to harmony, as does Deepak Chopra.

Here is a background on a famous Indian doctor who challenged the medical fraternity with the sanity of good health.

Courtesy of wikipedia

Deepak Chopra (Hindi: दीपक चोपड़ा; born October 22, 1946) is an Indian medical doctor, public speaker, and writer on subjects such as spirituality, Ayurveda and mind-body medicine.[1][2] Chopra began his career as an endocrinologist and later shifted his focus to alternative medicine.[3] Chopra now runs his own medical center, with a focus on mind-body connections. He is also a lecturer at the Update in Internal Medicine event, sponsored by Harvard Medical School’s Department of Continuing Education and the Department of Medicine.

Chopra was a top assistant to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi before launching his own career[4] in the late 1980s by publishing self-help books on New Age spirituality and alternative medicine.[5]

A friend of Michael Jackson for 20 years, Chopra came to widespread public attention in July 2009 when he criticized the “cult of drug-pushing doctors, with their co-dependent relationships with addicted celebrities,” saying he hoped Jackson’s death, attributed to an overdose of a prescription drug, would be a call to action.[6]

Family history

Chopra was born in New Delhi, India.[1][7] His father, Krishan Chopra, M.D. (1919–2001) was a prominent Indian cardiologist. He was head of the department of medicine and cardiology at Mool Chand Khairati Ram Hospital, New Delhi, for over 25 years,[8] and a lieutenant in the British army.[1][7] His paternal grandfather was a sergeant in the British Army, who sought treatment for his heart condition from Ayurveda when it did not improve through medical means.[9]

Chopra’s younger brother, Sanjiv, is a Professor of Medicine and Faculty Dean for Continuing Medical Education at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.[10]

Early life and education

As a young man, Chopra’s desire was to become an actor or journalist, but he reports that he was inspired by a character in Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis and became a doctor.[11]

Chopra completed his primary education at St. Columba’s School in New Delhi and graduated from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).[12] After immigrating to the US in 1968, Chopra began his clinical internship and residency training at Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield, New Jersey. He had residency terms at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, and at the University of Virginia Hospital.[7]

He earned his license to practice medicine in the state of Massachusetts in 1973[13] and received a California medical license in 2004.[14] Chopra is board-certified in internal medicine and specialized in endocrinology.[13] He is also a member of the American Medical Association (AMA),[15] a Fellow of the American College of Physicians[citation needed] and a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.


Chopra taught at the Tufts University and Boston University Schools of Medicine. He became Chief of Staff at the New England Memorial Hospital in Stoneham, Massachusetts,[7] later known as Boston Regional Medical Center, before establishing a private practice.[7]

After reading about the Transcendental Meditation technique, Chopra and his wife learned the practice in 1981, and two months later they went on to learn the advanced TM-Sidhi program.[16] Sources also describe a 1981 meeting between Chopra and Ayurvedic physician Brihaspati Dev Triguna in Delhi, India, in which Triguna advised Chopra to learn the TM technique.[12]

In 1985, Chopra met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who invited him to study Ayurveda.[12][17] In that same year, Chopra left his position at the New England Memorial Hospital and became the founding president of the American Association of Ayurvedic Medicine, and was later named medical director of the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center for Stress Management and Behavioral Medicine.[12][17][18] He was initially the sole stockholder of Maharishi Ayurveda Products International, but divested after three months.[19] He has been called the TM movement’s “poster boy” and “its leading Ayurvedic physician”.[20] In 1989, the Maharishi awarded him with the title “Dhanvantari (Lord of Immortality), the keeper of perfect health for the world”.[21]

In its May 22/29, 1991 issue, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an article coauthored by Chopra: Letter from New Delhi: Maharishi Ayur-Veda: Modern Insights Into Ancient Medicine.[22] JAMA editors claimed that Chopra and his co-authors had financial interests in “Maharishi Vedic Medicine” products and services. In the August 14, 1991 edition of JAMA, the editors published a financial disclosure correction[23] and followed up on October 2, 1991 with a six-page Medical News and Perspectives exposé.[24] An article discussing this chain of events was authored by Andrew A. Skolnick in the Newsletter of the National Association of Science Writers.[25] A 1992 defamation lawsuit brought against the article’s author and the editor of JAMA was dismissed in 1993.[26][27] Media reports published four years later saying that there had been a monetary settlement of the case were later withdrawn as untrue.[28]

By 1992, Chopra was serving on The National Institutes of Health Ad Hoc Panel on Alternative Medicine.[29] In 1993, Chopra became executive director of the Sharp Institute for Human Potential and Mind–Body Medicine with a $30,000 grant from the Office of Alternative Medicine in the National Institutes to study Ayurvedic medicine.[12] Chopra’s institute also maintained affiliation with Sharp Healthcare, in San Diego.[17][18] That same year Chopra moved with his family to Southern California where he lives with his wife and near his two adult children, Gotham and Mallika.[12]

Chopra left the Transcendental Meditation movement in January 1994. According to his own account, Chopra was accused by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of attempting to compete with the Maharishi’s position as guru. [30] Todd Carroll said Chopra left the TM organization when it “became too stressful” and was a “hindrance to his success”.[5]

In 1995, Chopra was the recipient of the Toastmasters “International Top Five Outstanding Speakers” award.[31] In 1997 Chopra was given the Golden Gavel Award by Toastmasters.[32][dead link]

He was presented the Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic awarded by the Pio Manzu International Scientific Committee. In the citation committee chairman and former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev referred to Chopra as “one of the most lucid and inspired philosophers of our time”.[33] Esquire magazine designated him as one of the “top ten motivational speakers in the country”.[11][31] He is the recipient of the 2002 Einstein Award through Albert Einstein College of Medicine in collaboration with the American Journal of Psychotherapy.

In 1996, Chopra parted company with the Sharp Institute. That same year, Chopra and neurologist David Simon, M.D., founded the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, which incorporated Ayurveda in its regimen, and was located in La Jolla, California. The University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine and American Medical Association have granted continuing medical education credits for some programs offered to physicians at the Chopra Center.[7][12][17] In 2002, Chopra and Simon relocated the Chopra Center to the grounds of La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California, continuing to offer mind-body wellness programs, medical consultations, and instruction in meditation, yoga, and Ayurveda.

Chopra and Simon also revived an ancient mantra-based meditation practice, traveling to India to study the origins of this technique, known as Primordial Sound Meditation. This form of meditation is now taught at the Chopra Center and by certified instructors who receive their training through Chopra Center University.

Since 2000 Chopra has sat as an advisor for the National Ayurvedic Medical Association.[34]

In 2005 Chopra was made a Senior Scientist at The Gallup Organization.[35] He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Executive Programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.[36]

He is also a weekly columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, a regular contributor to The Washington Post’s “On Faith” section and a prolific contributor to The Huffington Post.[37][38][39]

Dr. Chopra is also a monthly contributor for The Times of India Speaking Tree.[40][41]

In 2006, Chopra launched Virgin Comics LLC with his son Gotham Chopra and entrepreneur Richard Branson. The company’s purpose is to “spread peace and awareness through comics and trading cards that display traditional Kabalistic characters and stories.”[7] Chopra was awarded the 2006 Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations.[42][43]

He was the recipient in 2009 of the Oceana Award.[44] Also in 2009, Chopra established the Chopra Foundation with a mission to advance the cause of mind/body spiritual healing, education, and research through fundraising for selected projects.[45] In 2010 the Chopra Foundation sponsored the first Sages and Scientists Symposium with prominent scientists philosophers and artists from around the world.[46][dead link]

In 2010, Chopra received the Cinequest Life of a Maverick Award for his collaborations with filmmakers Shekhar Kapur and his son, Gotham Chopra. The award goes to “inspirational individuals who touch the world of film while their greater lives exemplify the Maverick spirit.”[11]

Chopra is heavily featured in UniGlobe Entertainment’s cancer docudrama titled 1 a Minute talking about mind, body, spirit and the mystery of life and death.[47] The documentary is directed by actress Namrata Singh Gujral and also features cancer survivors Olivia Newton-John, Diahann Carroll, Melissa Etheridge, Mumtaz and Jaclyn Smith.

He received the 2010 Humanitarian Starlite Award “for his global force of human empowerment, well-being and for bringing light to the world.”[48] Chopra is the recipient of the 2010 GOI Peace Award.[49]

In September 2010, Chopra published a criticism of Stephen Hawking’s book The Grand Design.[50]

In February 2011 the Chopra Foundation sponsored the second annual Sages and Scientists Symposium with eminent physicists, geneticists and social scientists from around the world.[51]

In conjunction with Menas Kafatos, Ph.D and Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D. Chopra published a paper in the Journal of Cosmology Vol. 14 April-May 2011, titled “How Consciousness Becomes the Physical Universe”.[52]

In June 2011 Deepak Chopra wrote an op-ed for the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics titled “Medicine’s Great Divide—The View from the Alternative Side”.[53]

In the summer of 2011 Deepak Chopra was ranked #1 influencer of all Indians in the world, both resident and non-resident.[54]

In October of 2011 Chopra wrote a critical review of Richard Dawkins’ book The Magic of Reality in the Huffington Post.


According to a 2008 article in Time magazine, Chopra is “a magnet for criticism” primarily from those involved in science and medicine. Some critics say that Chopra creates a false sense of hope in sick individuals which may keep them away from effective medical care. The Time article summarized Chopra’s reception and popularity thus: “Of all the Asian gurus…, Chopra has arguably been the most successful at erasing apparent differences between East and West by packaging Eastern mystique in credible Western garb. …His quest to construct a pleasing and seamless model of the universe tends to jump to easy conclusions and to spackle over problematic gaps and inconsistencies in the ideas he presents — is obvious to all but his most starry-eyed fans. But grousing about such crimes — as many do — does little to explain his enormous popularity. Chopra is as rich as he is today not because he has been dishonest with anyone, but because his basic message — that love, health and happiness are possible, that mystery is real and that the universe is ultimately a friendly and benevolent place where orthodoxies old and new can meet and make peace with one another — is one that he wants to believe in just as sincerely as his readers do.”[55][56]

Chopra was sued for plagiarism by Robert Sapolsky for using a stress endocrine chart without proper attribution, after the publication of Chopra’s book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. An out-of-court settlement resulted in Chopra attributing material that was researched by Sapolsky.[56] Chopra acknowledges that his thought has been inspired by Jiddu Krishnamurti and others.[5][57]

In 1996, The Weekly Standard of London published an article which accused Chopra of “plagiarism and soliciting a prostitute”; however, Chopra sued and the paper withdrew its statements and published an apology.[58]

Chopra has been criticized for his frequent references to the relationship of quantum mechanics to healing processes, a connection that has drawn skepticism from some physicists who say it can be considered as contributing to the general confusion in the popular press regarding quantum measurement, decoherence and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.[59] In 1998, Chopra was awarded the satirical Ig Nobel Prize in physics for “his unique interpretation of quantum physics as it applies to life, liberty, and the pursuit of economic happiness”.[60] According to the book, Skeptics Dictionary, Chopra’s “mind-body claims get even murkier as he tries to connect Ayurveda with quantum physics.”[5] Chopra also participated in the Channel 4 (UK) documentary The Enemies of Reason, where, when interviewed by scientist Richard Dawkins, he admitted that the term “quantum theory” was being used as a metaphor and that it has little to do with the actual quantum theory in physics.[61]

In August 2005, Chopra wrote a series of articles on the creation-evolution controversy and Intelligent design which were criticized by science writer Michael Shermer, founder of The Skeptics Society.[62][63][64]

In March 2010, Chopra and Jean Houston debated Sam Harris and Michael Shermer at Caltech on the question “Does God Have a Future?” Shermer and Harris criticized Chopra’s use of scientific terminology to expound unrelated spiritual concepts.[65] Shermer has said that Chopra is “the very definition of what we mean by pseudoscience”.[65]

In April 2010, Hindu American Foundation co-founder Aseem Shukla, on a Washington Post-sponsored blog on faith and religion, criticized Chopra for suggesting that yoga did not have origins in Hinduism but is an older Indian spiritual tradition which predated Hinduism.[66] Later on, Chopra explained yoga as rooted in “consciousness alone” which is a universal, non-sectarian eternal wisdom of life expounded by Vedic rishis long before historic Hinduism ever arose. He further accused Aseem Shukla of having a “fundamentalist agenda”. Dr. Shukla in a rejoinder titled “Dr. Chopra: Honor thy heritage” termed Deepak Chopra as an exponent of the art of “How to Deconstruct, Repackage and Sell Hindu Philosophy Without Calling it Hindu!” and to the allegation of “fundamentalist” he responded by accusing Dr. Chopra of raising the “bogey of communalism” in frustration to divert the argument.[67][68]

Chopra addresses these scientific criticisms in his 2011 book War of the Worldviews – Science vs Spirituality, coauthored with CalTech Professor of Physics Leonard Mlodinow. In it he explains his respect and admiration for the scientific method while pointing out its limitations and the need for an expanded science that includes the reality and investigation of the observer, or consciousness.[69] [70]


According to Business Week, one of Chopra’s main messages is that by ridding oneself of negative emotions and developing intuition by listening to signals from the body, health can be improved. According to Chopra, slowing down or reversing the aging of the mind through his methods can increase one’s lifespan up to the age of 120 years. As a result of his writings and lectures in this area, he is thought by some to be “one of the pre-eminent leaders of the mind-body-spirit movement”.[11]


Chopra has written more than 65 books with 19 New York Times bestsellers. His books have been translated into 35 languages and sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.[29] His book, Peace Is the Way won the Quill Awards and The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of your Life received the Nautilus Award. FINS – Wall Street Journal, mentioned his book, “The Soul of Leadership”, as one of five best business books of 2011 to read for your career. Chopra is represented in the United States by the literary agency, Trident Media Group.[71] His first book, Creating Health, is credited with helping to create initial, international recognition for Chopra.[7]

1987 Creating Health ISBN 0-395-75515-8
1988 Return of the Rishi ISBN 0-395-57420-X
1989 Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine ISBN 0-553-34869-8
1991 Unconditional Life: Mastering the Forces That Shape Personal Reality
1991 Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide ISBN 0-517-58421-2
1993 Ageless Body, Timeless Mind : The Quantum Alternative to Growing Old ISBN 0-517-59257-6
1993 Creating Affluence: Wealth Consciousness in the Field of All PossibilitiesISBN 1-880032-42-2
1994 The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfilment of Your Dreams
1995 The Way of the Wizard: Twenty Spiritual Lessons in Creating the Life You Want ISBN 0-517-70434-X
1995 The Return of Merlin: A Novel ISBN 0-449-91074-1
1995 Journey into Healing ISBN 1-4000-8069-X
1995 The Path to Love: Spiritual Strategies for Healing
1996 Perfect Weight ISBN 0-517-88458-5
1996 Restful Sleep ISBN 0-517-88457-7
1996 Raid on the Inarticulate ISBN 1-882971-16-7
1997 The Path to Love: Renewing the Power of Spirit in Your Life ISBN 0-517-70622-9
1997 The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents: Guiding Your Children to Success and Fulfillment
1997 Perfect Digestion ISBN 0-609-80076-0
1998 Overcoming Addictions ISBN 0-609-80195-3
1998 The Love Poems of RumiISBN 0-609-60243-8
1998 Healing the Heart ISBN 0-609-60035-4
1999 Everyday Immortality: A Concise Course in Spiritual Transformation ISBN 0-609-60484-8
1999 On the Shores of Eternity: Poems from Tagore on Immortality and Beyond ISBN 0-609-60564-X
1999 A Deepak Chopra Companion ISBN 0-609-80454-5
1999 Daughters of JoyISBN 0-451-20935-4
1999 Lords of Light: A Novel ISBN 0-312-96892-2
2000 The Angel is Near: A Novel ISBN 0-312-97024-2
2000 How to Know God : The Soul’s Journey into the Mystery of Mysteries ISBN 0-609-60078-8
2001 The Deeper Wound: Recovering the Soul from Fear and Suffering, 100 Days of Healing
2001 Grow Younger, Live Longer: 10 Steps to Reverse Aging ISBN 0-609-60079-6
2001 The Soul in Love: Classic Poems of Ecstasy and Exaltation ISBN 0-609-60648-4
2002 Manifesting Good Luck Cards: Growth and Enlightenment
2003 Golf for Enlightenment: The Seven Lessons for the Game of Life
2003 The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence ISBN 0-609-60042-7
2003 Synchrodestiny: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence to Create Miracles ISBN 1-84413-221-8
2003 Manifesting Good Luck: Love and Relationships, 50 Card Deck
2003 The Chopra Center Cookbook ISBN 0-471-45404-4
2004 The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life ISBN 0-517-70624-5
2004 Fire in the Heart: A Spiritual Guide for Teens ISBN 0-689-86216-4
2005 Peace Is the Way : Bringing War and Violence to an End ISBN 0-307-23607-2
2005 The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga: A Practical Guide to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit
2005 Magical Beginnings Enchanted lives: A Holistic Guide to Pregnancy ISBN 0-517-70220-7
2005 Teens Ask Deepak ISBN 0-689-86218-0
2006 Ask The Kabala: Oracle Cards/Kabala Guidebook ISBN 978-1-4019-1039-6
2006 Power Freedom and Grace: Living from the Source of Lasting Happiness ISBN 978-1-878424-81-5
2006 Life After Death: The Burden of Proof ISBN 0-307-34578-5
2006 Kama Sutra: Including the Seven Spiritual Laws of Love ISBN 978-1-85227-385-9
2007 Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment ISBN 978-0-06-087880-1
2007 Boundless Energy: The Complete Mind/Body Program for Overcoming Chronic Fatigue ISBN 0-609-80075-2
2007 Freedom From Addiction ISBN 0-7573-0578-4
2008 The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore ISBN 978-0-307-33831-0
2008 Why Is God Laughing? The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism
2008 Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment ISBN 978-0-06-144873-7
2009 Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting The Soul
2009 The Ultimate Happiness Prescription: 7 Keys to Joy and Enlightenment
2009 Chopra Center Herbal Handbook ISBN 0-307-45233-6
2010 The Shadow Effect with Debbie Ford and Marianne Williamson ISBN 0-06-196265-1
2010 Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet ISBN 978-0-061-78242-8
2010 The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness ISBN 978-0-307-40806-8
2011 The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes: Harnessing Our Power to Change the World with Gotham Chopra ISBN 978-0062059666
2011 The War of the Worldviews with Leonard Mlodinow ISBN 978-0-30-788688-0

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Mohandas Gandhi

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”