"The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers." -- Deepak Chopra
Deepak Chopra () (born October 22, 1946) is an Indian American public speaker, and writer on Ayurveda, spirituality and mind-body medicine. Chopra began his career as an endocrinologist and later shifted his focus to alternative medicine. Chopra was a top assistant to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi before launching his own career in the late 1980s by publishing self-help books on New Age spirituality and alternative medicine.
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.
"Every person is a God in embryo. Its only desire is to be born.""Happiness is a continuation of happenings which are not resisted.""If you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world.""In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.""It is the nature of babies to be in bliss.""Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real.""Our thinking and our behaviour are always in anticipation of a response. It is therefore fear-based.""The physical world, including our bodies, is a response of the observer. We create our bodies as we create the experience of our world.""The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years.""There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.""To think is to practice brain chemistry.""We are not victims of aging, sickness and death. These are part of scenery, not the seer, who is immune to any form of change. This seer is the spirit, the expression of eternal being.""We're living in a time when the world has suddenly discovered India because it's run out of raw material for its imagination. The raw materials for imagination are inexhaustible here.""You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.""You can free yourself from aging by reinterpreting your body and by grasping the link between belief and biology."
Chopra was born in New Delhi, India. 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, and a lieutenant in the British army His paternal grandfather was a sergeant in the British Army, who got help for his heart condition from Ayurveda after Western medicine did not help.
Chopra's younger brother, Sanjiv, is a Professor of Medicine and Faculty Dean for Continuing Medical Education at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
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.
Chopra completed his primary education at St. Columba's School in New Delhi and graduated from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). 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.
He earned his license to practice medicine in the state of Massachusetts in 1973 and received a California medical license in 2004. Chopra is board-certified in internal medicine and specialized in endocrinology. He is also a member of the American Medical Association (AMA), a Fellow of the American College of Physicians 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 Massachusetts and Chief at Boston Regional Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, before establishing a private practice.
After reading about the Transcendental Meditation technique, Chopra and his wife learned the technique in 1981, and two months later they went on to learn the advanced TM-Sidhi program. 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.
In 1985, Chopra met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who invited him to study Ayurveda. 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. He was initially the sole stockholder of Maharishi Ayurveda Products International, but divested after three months. He has been called the TM movement's "poster boy" and "its leading Ayurvedic physician". In 1989, the Maharishi awarded him with the title "Dhanvantari [Lord of Immortality], the keeper of perfect health for the world".
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. 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 and followed up in October 2, 1991 with a six-page Medical News and Perspectives exposť. An article discussing this chain of events was authored by Skolnick in the Newsletter of the National Association of Science Writers. A 1992 defamation lawsuit brought against the article's author and the editor of JAMA was dismissed in 1993. Media reports published four years later saying that there had been a monetary settlement of the case were later withdrawn as untrue.
By 1992, Chopra was serving on The National Institutes of Health Ad Hoc Panel on Alternative Medicine. 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. Chopra's institute also maintained affiliation with Sharp Healthcare, in San Diego. That same year Chopra moved with his family to Southern California where he lives his wife and near his two adult children, Gotham and Mallika.
According to his own account, Chopra was accused by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of attempting to compete with the Maharishi's position as guru and Chopra left the Transcendental Meditation movement in January 1994. Carroll said Chopra left the TM organization when it “became too stressful” and was a “hindrance to his success”.
In 1995, Chopra was the recipient of the Toastmasters "International Top Five Outstanding Speakers" award.In 1997 Chopra was given the Golden Gavel Award by Toastmasters.
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’. Esquire Magazine designated him as one of the "top ten motivational speakers in the country".
In 1996, Chopra parted company with the Sharp Institute. That same year, Chopra and David Simon founded the Chopra Center for Well Being, 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.
In 2005 Chopra was made a Senior Scientist at The Gallup Organization . He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Kellogg School of Management.
Chopra has a Sirius XMweekly radio show where he interviews prominent scientists and leaders in the development of human potential on Sirius//XM Stars Radio show Wellness RadioHe 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.
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". Chopra was awarded the 2006 Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations.
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.In 2010 the Chopra Foundation sponsored the first Sages and Scientists Symposium with prominent scientists philosophers and artists from around the world.He was the recipient in 2009 of the Oceana Award.
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".
Chopra is in UniGlobe Entertainment's cancer docudrama titled 1 a Minute scheduled for release in 2010. The documentary is being made by Namrata Singh Gujral and will feature 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, wellbeing and for bringing light to the world."Chopra is the recipient of the 2010 GOI Peace Award
In September 2010, Deepak Chopra published a criticism of Stephen Hawking's book: "The Grand Design"
According to a 2008 article in Time , Chopra is “a magnet for criticism” primarily from the scientific and medical communities. Some critics say that Chopra creates a false sense of hope in sick individuals which may keep them away from traditional 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. [H]is 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." The Skeptics Dictionary, a book by Robert Todd Carroll, says that Chopra is the "foremost advocate of Ayurvedic medicine in America". The book also says that, according to Chopra, perfect health is a matter of choice, physical imbalances can be identified by taking the pulse, allergies are the result of poor digestion and washing one’s eyes with saliva can prevent or reverse cataracts. According to Carroll, Chopra has given up his work in medicine “in favor of working in religion.” However, Chopra says that he found it frustrating to give patients antibiotics, tranquilizers and sleeping pills, when he knew the drugs would not get rid of the problem.
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 material that was researched by Sapolsky. Chopra acknowledges that his thought has been inspired by Jiddu Krishnamurti and others.
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, published an apology and paid Chopra $1 million for his legal fees.
Chopra has been criticized for his frequent references to the relationship of quantum mechanics to healing processes, a connection that has drawn skepticism from 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. 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". According to the book, Skeptics Dictionary, Chopra's "mind-body claims get even murkier as he tries to connect Ayurveda with quantum physics.” Chopra also participated in the Channel 4 (UK) documentary The Enemies of Reason, where he when interviewed by scientist Richard Dawkins admitted that the term "quantum theory" was being used as a mere metaphor and that it has nothing to do with actual quantum theory in physics.
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.
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.
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 merely is an Indian spiritual tradition which predated Hinduism. Later on, Chopra tried to explain 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.
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".
Chopra has written more than 57 books. His books have been translated into 35 languages and sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. 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. Chopra is represented in the United States by the literary agency, Trident Media Group. His first book, Creating Health, is credited with helping to create initial, international recognition for Chopra.
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 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 ISBN 0-06-196265-1
2010 Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet ISBN 978-0-061-78242-8
Music CDs/Audio Books
1986 Total Health: The Rediscovery of Ayurveda ASIN B-000-K06QY-4
1994 Journey Into Healing ISBN 0-679-44089-5
1994 Power Talk!:The Power of the Human Paradox with Anthony Robbins ISBN 1-55927-267-8
1996 Crescent Moon: Prose Poems of Rabindranath Tagore ISBN 1-878424-20-3
1998 Synchrodestiny ISBN 1-905953-04-6
1998 A Gift of Love: Love poems inspired by Rumi ASIN B-000-GRQX8-A
2000 All About God: A Dialogue Between Neale Donald Walsch and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-735-X
2000 Wisdom of the Sufi: A Dialogue Between Hidayat Inayat-Kahn and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-734-1
2000 The Spiritual Journey : A Dialogue Between Richard Moss, M.D., and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-739-2
2000 Spiritual Insights into the Genius of Leonardo da Vinci: A Dialogue Between Michael J. Gelb, M.D., and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-738-4
2000 The Art of Everyday Ecstasy: A Dialogue Between Margot Anandand Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-737-6
2000 The Conscious Universe ISBN 1-56170-744-9
2000 Pathways to God: A Dialogue Between Joan Borysenko, Ph.D. and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-736-8
2000 Unleash Your Potential with Marianne Williamson and Sarah Ban Breathnach ISBN 0-671-77180-9
2000 The Path to Enlightenment: Insights into Buddhism / A Dialogue Between Robert Thurman, Ph.D., and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-732-5
2001 Healing the Planet: A Dialogue Between Marianne Williamson and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-743-0
2001 Self-Coaching Secrets for Success ISBN 1-56170-827-5
2001 Awakening the Goddesses Within: Deepak Chopra, M.D., Presents Agapi Stassinopoulos ISBN 1-56170-837-2
2001 Tell Me a Story: A Dialogue Between Lisa Suhay and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-874-7
2001 Sacred Sexuality: A Dialogue Between Felice Dunas and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-823-2
2001 Relationships As a Bridge to Divine Love : A Dialogue Between Barbara De Angelis, Ph.D., and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-742-2
2001 Training the Mind, Healing the Body ASIN B-000-BGT8K-6
2001 Soul of Healing Meditations — A Simple Approach to Growing Younger ASIN B-000-05TZS-K
2001 The Higher Self ISBN 0-7435-0921-8
2001 The New Physics of Healing ISBN 1-56455-919-X
2001 Science And Soul: The Survival of Consciousness After Death, A Dialogue Between Gary Schwartz and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-822-4
2002 The Yoga of Love and Devotion with Shree Ma ISBN 1-56170-838-0
2002 Integrating The Masculine And Feminine In The Spiritual Traditions Of Judaism and Vedanta: A Dialogue Between Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-824-0
2002 Quantum Physics of Quantum Healing: A Dialogue with Amit Goswami, Ph.D., and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-920-4
2002 The Evolving Human: A Dialogue Between Jean Houston, Ph.D., and Deepak Chopa ISBN 1-56170-916-6
2002 Rituals As a Path to the Divine: A Dialogue Between Stephen Huyler, Ph.D., and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-841-0
2002 Healing Your Relationships : A Dialogue Between Kenny and Julia Loggins and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-840-2
2002 The Soul and Relationship: A Dialogue Between Shakti Gawain and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-56170-917-4
2002 Yoga as a Form of Meditation with Yogi Amrit Desai ISBN 1-56170-839-9
2002 A Gift of Love II: A Musical Valentine to Tagore ASIN B-000-06IZP-E
2003 Magical Mind, Magical Body ISBN 0-7435-3013-6
2003 Journey to the Boundless ISBN 0-7435-3016-0
2004 Chakra Balancing: Body, Mind, and Soul ASIN B-000-667GN-W
2004 Sacred Verses, Healing Sounds, Volumes I and II: The Bhagavad Gita, Hymns of the Rig Veda ISBN 1-878-42478-5
2004 The Ultimate Deepak Chopra Collection 20 CDs ASIN B-000-BGV45-I
2004 Whispers with Eckhart Tolle, Jack Canfield and Don Miguel Ruiz ISBN 1-559-61722-5
2005 The Power of Intuition ISBN 1-401-90622-2
2005 Living Beyond Miracleswith Wayne Dyer ISBN 1-878-42479-3
2005 The Cosmic Mind and Submanifest Order of Being ISBN 1-401-90450-5
2005 Living Without Limits ISBN 1-878-42496-3
2005 An Ancient Magical Prayer ISBN 1-401-90447-5
2006 Escaping the Prison of the Intellect ISBN 1-878-42456-4
2007 Creating Your World the Way You Really Want It To Be with Wayne Dyer ISBN 1-602-52748-2
2007 Meditations for Healing: A Dialogue Between Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. and Deepak Chopra ISBN 1-561-70922-0
2008 Whispers of Spirit & Happiness with Don Miguel Ruiz ISBN 1-559-61945-7
2008 The Soul of Healing Affirmations A-Z Guide to Reprogramming the Software of the Soul ASIN B-001-2SAT7-S
2009 The Soul Of Healing Meditations ASIN B-000-05TZS-K
1995 Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
1995 The Way of the Wizard
2003 God and Buddha - a dialog
2004 Soul of Healing - Body, Mind, and Soul Vol. 1
2008 The Love Guru
2010 1 a Minute
Other published work
2008 Introduction to Kim Feinberg's A Mother's Legacy
Chopra co-authored Ask the Kabala with Mike 'Zappy' Zapolin and Alys Yablon, which is a set of 22 cards, each one representing a story or character from the Old Testament and a life lesson based on that story from a Kabalistic perspective.