Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra (Hindi: दीपक चोपड़ा; born October 22, 1946) is an Indian medical doctor and writer. He has written extensively on spirituality and diverse topics in mind-body medicine. He claims to be influenced by the teachings of Vedanta and the Bhagavad Gita from his native India, and quantum physics. He also said that he has been profoundly influenced by the teachings of J Krishnamurti. His teachings have had a profound influence on the The New Thought Movement which has embraced him in the U.S .

Early years

Chopra was born in New Delhi and educated in India. He completed his primary education at St. Columba's School in New Delhi and eventually graduated from the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences. His father, Krishna Chopra, was a cardiologist in India and served as a lieutenant in the British army. Chopra's grandfather practiced Ayurveda.

Having graduated from AIIMS in 1969, Chopra emigrated to the U.S. in 1970 with his newly-wedded wife, Rita, to do his clinical internship at a New Jersey hospital, followed by residency training for several more years at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts and at the University of Virginia Hospital. He became board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology.

Chopra has two children, Mallika Chopra and Gotham Chopra.

Career

Chopra taught at Tufts University and Boston University Schools of Medicine, became the Chief of Staff at the New England Memorial Hospital in Stoneham, Massachusetts, then Chief at Boston Regional Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Chopra also established a large private practice.

Inspired after meeting New Delhi Ayurvedic physician Dr. Vaidya Brihaspati Dev Triguna in 1981, Chopra became a leader in the Transcendental Meditation movement. Later, Chopra branched off on his own to pursue broader aims in mind-body treatment including, in 1993, the position of executive director of the Sharp Institute for Human Potential and Mind–Body Medicine, affiliated with Sharp Healthcare, in San Diego.

Chopra is the co-founder of The Chopra Center, which he founded in 1996 in La Jolla with Dr. David Simon. In 2002 the Center moved its official headquarters to La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California with a branch in New York City, and plans for other centers as well.

In 2004, Chopra was recruited to co-write a script with Indian film director Shekhar Kapur on a proposed film to be made about the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha.

In June, 2005, Mallika Chopra, Deepak's daughter, launched a discussion blog with Deepak, Kapur, and other well known voices. The stated purpose of the blog is to present original voices from South Asia (particularly India) and discuss a variety of topics.

In 2006, Chopra launched Virgin Comics LLC alongside his son, Gotham Chopra, and Richard Branson, famed entrepreneur and thrill-seeker. The aim of the company is to promote and examine Southeast Asian themes and culture through the use of the traditional comic book medium.

Principal themes

Many of Chopra's themes and beliefs are stated in his first book, "Creating Health" in 1986. He launched himself as a staunch advocate of the interconnection between mind and body, advocating meditation and self-awareness as primary factors in both illness and healing. He deepened these themes in "Quantum Healing" (1989), where he examined the mysterious phenomenon of spontaneous healing of cancer. Here he introduced quantum physics as a means of understanding the mind-body connection, arguing — as he would in many other books — that consciousness is the basic foundation of nature and the universe.

In "Perfect Health" (1991) Chopra authored the first widely read book on Ayurveda, the traditional system of Indian medicine. Besides outlining the Ayurvedic concept of body types (Prakriti), Chopra emphasizes that the roots of Indian healing lie in changing the holistic balance of mind and body.

Subsequent books have turned toward larger spiritual questions. In "How to Know God" (2000) and "The Book of Secrets" (2004) an argument is made for an all-pervasive intelligence that unites every living thing rather than the traditional Western concept of God as a person, "a venerable white male sitting on a throne in the sky." Chopra sees God as a projection of human awareness who becomes more expansive and universal as individual consciousness expands.

In his book "Life After Death: The Burden of Proof" (2006) he extends personal consciousness beyond the "artificial boundary that separates the living from the departed." Assessing the seven varieties of the afterlife espoused in world religions, Chopra offers the startling proposal that a person's awareness in the present shapes existence after death; that is, the afterlife is created uniquely for each of us by our present level of consciousness.

In 2005 Chopra became a staunch advocate for disarmament and international peace in "Peace Is the Way," where he argues that a "critical mass" of people who band together in their spiritual worldview can defeat the age-old "addiction to war" that continues to create mass suffering. In the same regard he became president of a broad-based organization, Alliance of a New Humanity, that seeks to form "peace cells" around the world and to foster such related goals as environmental healing and sustainable economies in developing nations.

Deepak Chopra

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