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Deepak Chopra

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New Delhi+, India+
|1947|10|22
Alternative medicine advocate, physician, public speaker, writer
Rita Chopra
Krishan Chopra, Pushpa Chopra
Mallika Chopra+ and Gotham Chopra+
American


'''Deepak Chopra''' () (born October 22, 1947) is an Indian-American author, public speaker and physician. A prominent alternative-medicine+ advocate and author of several dozen books and videos, he has become one of the best-known and wealthiest figures in the holistic-health movement and has been described as a New-Age+ guru.

Chopra obtained his medical degree in India before emigrating in 1970 to the United States, where he specialized in endocrinology+ and became Chief of Staff at the New England Memorial Hospital+ (NEMH). In the 1980s he began practicing transcendental meditation+ (TM) and in 1985 resigned his position at NEMH to establish the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center+. Chopra left the TM movement in 1994 and founded the Chopra Center for Wellbeing.

Combining principles from Ayurveda+ (Hindu traditional medicine) and mainstream medicine, Chopra's approach to health incorporates ideas about the mind-body relationship+, a belief in teleology+ in nature and a belief in the primacy of consciousness over matter – that "consciousness creates reality." He claims that his practices can extend the human lifespan and treat chronic disease. This position is criticized by scientists, who say his treatments rely on the placebo+ effect; that he misuses terms and ideas from quantum physics+ (quantum mysticism+); and that he provides people with false hope that may obscure the possibility of effective medical treatment.


Chopra was born in New Delhi+, India, to Krishan Lal Chopra (1919–2001) and Pushpa Chopra; his mother tongue is Punjabi+ (his first name, ''Deepak'', means ''light'').

His paternal grandfather was a sergeant in the British Army. His father was a prominent cardiologist, head of the department of medicine and cardiology at New Delhi's Mool Chand Khairati Ram Hospital for over 25 years; he was also a lieutenant in the British army, serving as an army doctor at the front at Burma+ and acting as a medical adviser to Lord Mountbatten+, viceroy of India. As of 2014 Chopra's younger brother, Sanjiv, is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School+ and on staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center+.


Chopra completed his primary education at St. Columba's School+ in New Delhi and graduated from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences+ in 1969.
He married in India in 1970 before emigrating with his wife that year to the United States (the couple have two children and three grandchildren as of 2014).Chopra 1991, pp. 54–57; Joanne Kaufman, "," ''The New York Times'', October 17, 2013. The Indian government had banned its doctors from sitting the American Medical Association exam needed to practice in America, so Chopra had to travel to Sri Lanka to take it. After passing he arrived, penniless, in the United States to take up a clinical internship+ at Muhlenberg Hospital+ in Plainfield, New Jersey, where doctors from overseas were being recruited to replace those serving in Vietnam+.

Between 1971 and 1977 he completed residencies in internal medicine+ at the Lahey Clinic+ in Burlington, Massachusetts, the VA Medical Center+, St Elizabeth's Medical Center+ and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He earned his license to practice medicine in the state of Massachusetts in 1973, becoming board certified+ in internal medicine, specializing in endocrinology.

Chopra taught at the medical schools of Tufts University+, Boston University+ and Harvard University+, and became Chief of Staff at the New England Memorial Hospital (later known as the Boston Regional Medical Center+) in Stoneham, Massachusetts, before establishing a private practice in Boston in endocrinology.


While visiting New Delhi in 1981, he met the physician Brihaspati Dev Triguna+, head of the Indian Council for Ayurvedic Medicine+, whose advice prompted him to begin investigating Ayurvedic practices. Chopra was "drinking black coffee by the hour and smoking at least a pack of cigarettes a day." He took up transcendental meditation to help him stop; as of 2006 he continued to meditate for two hours every morning and half an hour in the evening.
Chopra's involvement with TM led to a meeting, in 1984, with the leader of the TM movement, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi+, who asked him to establish an Ayurvedic health center. He left his position at the NEMH. Chopra said that one of the reasons he left was his disenchantment at having to prescribe too many drugs: "[W]hen all you do is prescribe medication, you start to feel like a legalized drug pusher. That doesn't mean that all prescriptions are useless, but it is true that 80 percent of all drugs prescribed today are of optional or marginal benefit."Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, , ''Media Monitors Network'', February 29, 2008.

He became the founding president of the American Association of Ayurvedic Medicine, one of the founders of Maharishi Ayur-Veda Products International, and medical director of the Maharishi Ayur-veda Health Center in Lancaster, Massachusetts. The center charged between $2,850 and $3,950 a week, offering Ayurvedic cleansing rituals such as massage, enemas and oil baths, with an extra charge of $1,000 for lessons in transcendental meditation. Celebrity patients included Elizabeth Taylor+. Chopra also became one of the TM movement's spokespersons. In 1989 the Maharishi awarded him the title "Dhanvantari of Heaven and Earth" (Dhanvantari+ is the Hindu physician to the gods).Cynthia Ann Humes+, "Schisms within Hindu guru groups: the Transcendental Meditation movement in North America," in James R. Lewis+, Sarah M. Lewis (eds.), ''Sacred Schisms: How Religions Divide'', Cambridge University Press, 2009, p. 297. Also see Cynthia Ann Humes, "Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: Beyond the TM Technique," in Thomas A. Forsthoefel, Cynthia Ann Humes (eds.), ''Gurus in America'', State University of New York Press, 2005, pp. 68–69. That year Chopra's ''Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine'' was published, followed by ''Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide'' (1990).

In May 1991 the ''Journal of the American Medical Association+'' (''JAMA'') published an article by Chopra and two others on Ayurvedic medicine and TM. ''JAMA'' subsequently published an erratum stating that the lead author, Hari M. Sharma, had undisclosed financial interests, followed by an article by ''JAMA'' associate editor Andrew A. Skolnick+ which was highly critical of Chopra and the other authors for failing to disclose their financial connections to the article subject.
By 1992 Chopra was serving on the National Institute of Health+'s ad hoc panel on alternative medicine., Gallup. Retrieved May 15, 2014. In June 1993 he moved to California as executive director of Sharp HealthCare+'s Institute for Human Potential and Mind/Body Medicine, and head of their Center for Mind/Body Medicine, a clinic in an exclusive resort in Del Mar that charged $4,000 a week and included Michael Jackson+'s family among its clients.Pettus (''New York Magazine'') 1995, . Chopra and Jackson first met in 1988 and remained friends for 20 years; when Jackson died+ in 2009 after being administered prescription drugs, Chopra said he hoped it would be a call to action against the "cult of drug-pushing doctors, with their co-dependent relationships with addicted celebrities."


Chopra left the Transcendental Meditation movement around the time he moved to California. By his own account, the Maharishi had accused him of competing for the position of guru+, although Chopra rejects identification as a "guru". Cynthia Ann Humes+ writes that the Maharishi was concerned, and not only with regard to Chopra, that rival systems were being taught at lower prices. Chopra, for his part, was worried that his close association with the TM movement might prevent Ayurvedic medicine from being accepted as legitimate, particularly after the problems with the ''JAMA'' article. He also stated that he had become "uncomfortable with what I sensed was a cultish atmosphere around Maharishi."

Chopra's ''Ageless Body, Timeless Mind: The Quantum Alternative to Growing Old'' was published in 1993. (Robert Sapolsky+ sued because the book used a chart of his without proper attribution; the issue was settled out of court.) The book and his friendship with Michael Jackson gained him an interview on July 12 that year on ''Oprah+'', which made him a household name. Paul Offit+ writes that within 24 hours Chopra had sold 137,000 copies of his book and 400,000 by the end of the week. Four days after the interview, the Maharishi National Council of the Age of Enlightenment wrote to TM centers in the United States, instructing them not to promote Chopra, and his name and books were removed from the movement's literature and health centers. Neuroscientist Tony Nader+ became the movement's new "Dhanvantari of Heaven and Earth."

Sharp HealthCare changed ownership in 1996 and Chopra left to set up the Chopra Center for Wellbeing with neurologist David Simon, now located at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa+ in Carlsbad, California. In 2004 he received his California medical licence, and as of 2014 is affiliated with Scripps Memorial Hospital+ in La Jolla. Chopra is the owner and supervisor of the Mind-Body Medical Group within the Chopra center, which in addition to standard medical treatment offers personalized advice about nutrition, sleep-wake cycles and stress management, based on mainstream medicine and Ayurveda. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians+ and member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.

As of 2014 Chopra serves as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School+ and at the Kellogg School of Management+ at Northwestern University+. He participates annually as a lecturer at the ''Update in Internal Medicine'' event sponsored by Harvard Medical School and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Robert Carroll+ writes of Chopra charging $25,000 per lecture, "giving spiritual advice while warning against the ill effects of materialism."

In 2005 Chopra was appointed as a senior scientist at Gallup+, analysing the results of health and well-being surveys. In 2009 he founded the Chopra foundation+, a tax-exempt 501(c) organization+, to promote and research holistic medicine; the Foundation sponsors annual ''Sages and Scientists'' conferences. He sits on the board of advisors of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association+ and the tech startup State.com+. Since 2005 he has been a board member of Men's Wearhouse+, a men's clothing distributor, and in 2006 launched Virgin Comics+ with his son, Gotham Chopra+, and entrepreneur Richard Branson+.

Chopra speaks and writes regularly about metaphysics+, the study of consciousness and Vedanta+ philosophy. He is a philosophical idealist+, arguing for the primacy of consciousness over matter and for purpose+ and intelligence in nature – that mind, or "dynamically active consciousness," is a fundamental feature of the universe.

In this view, consciousness is both subject and object. It is consciousness, he writes, that creates reality; we are not "physical machines that have somehow learned to think ... [but] thoughts that have learned to create a physical machine." He argues that the evolution of species is the evolution of consciousness seeking to express itself as multiple observers; the universe experiences itself through our brains: "We are the eyes of the universe looking at itself." He opposes reductionist+ thinking in science and medicine, arguing that we can trace the physical structure of the body down to the molecular level and still have no explanation for beliefs, desires, memory and creativity.

Chopra argues that everything that happens in the mind and brain is physically represented elsewhere in the body, with mental states (thoughts, feelings, perceptions and memories) directly influencing physiology by means of neurotransmitter+s such as dopamine+, oxytocin+ and serotonin+. He has stated, "Your mind, your body and your consciousness – which is your spirit – and your social interactions, your personal relationships, your environment, how you deal with the environment, and your biology are all inextricably woven into a single process ... By influencing one, you influence everything."

Chopra and physicians at the Chopra Center practise integrative medicine+, combining the medical model+ of conventional Western medicine with alternative therapies such as yoga, mindfulness meditation+, and Ayurveda+. According to Ayurveda, illness is caused by an imbalance in the patient's ''dosha+s'' or humours+, and is treated with diet, exercise and meditative practices – there is, however, no scientific evidence to show that Ayurveda is effective in treating any disease.

In discussing health care, Chopra has used the term "quantum healing," which he defined in ''Quantum Healing'' (1989) as the "ability of one mode of consciousness (the mind) to spontaneously correct the mistakes in another mode of consciousness (the body)." This attempted to wed the Maharishi's version of Ayurvedic medicine with concepts from physics, an example of what cultural historian Kenneth Zysk called "New Age Ayurveda." The book introduced Chopra's view that a person's thoughts and feelings give rise to all cellular processes.

Physicists have objected to Chopra's use of terms from quantum physics; he was awarded the satirical Ig Nobel Prize+ in physics in 1998 for "his unique interpretation of quantum physics as it applies to life, liberty, and the pursuit of economic happiness." When Chopra and Jean Houston+ debated Sam Harris+ and Michael Shermer+ in 2010 on the question "Does God Have a Future?", Harris argued that Chopra's use of "spooky physics" merged two language games+ in a "completely unprincipled way." Interviewed in 2007 by Richard Dawkins+, Chopra said that he used the term ''quantum'' as a metaphor when discussing healing and that it had little to do with quantum theory in physics.

Chopra wrote in 2000 that his AIDS+ patients were combining mainstream medicine with activities based on Ayurveda, including taking herbs, meditation and yoga. He acknowledges that AIDS is caused by the HIV virus+, but claims that, "'[h]earing' the virus in its vicinity, the DNA mistakes it for a friendly or compatible sound". Ayurveda uses vibrations which are claimed to correct this supposed sound distortion. Medical professor Lawrence Schneiderman writes that Chopra's treatment has "to put it mildly ... no supporting empirical data."

In August 2001 ABC News aired a show segment on distance healing+ and prayer, in which Chopra attempted to relax a reporter in another room; the reporter's vital signs+ were recorded in charts said to show a correspondence between Chopra's periods of concentration and the subject's periods of relaxation. Health and science journalist Christopher Wanjek+, calling it "an instructive example of how bad medicine is presented as exciting news," argued that the experiment could prove nothing, and said that in any case a more detailed examination of the charts showed the correlations were not as close as claimed. After the show, a poll of its viewers found that 90 per cent believed in distance healing.

Medical anthropologist Hans Baer argues that Chopra has not explored the potential benefits of a truly holistic+ approach to health, ignoring factors such as air and water pollution, racism and inequality, and failing to encourage people to become part of reform movements. Instead, Baer writes, Chopra offers an alternative form of medical hegemony+ by offering products and services to more affluent members of society.Baer 2003, , 246.

Chopra believes that "ageing is simply learned behaviour" that can be slowed or prevented and Chopra himself has said he expects "to live way beyond 100". He states that "by consciously using our awareness, we can influence the way we age biologically. . . . You can tell your body not to age." Conversely, Chopra also says that aging can be accelerated, for example by a person engaging in "cynical mistrust".

Robert Todd Carroll+ has characterized Chopra's promotion of lengthened life as selling "hope" that seems to be "a false hope based on an unscientific imagination steeped in mysticism and cheerily dispensed gibberish".

Chopra has likened the universe to a "reality sandwich" which has three layers: the "material" world, a "quantum" zone of matter and energy, and a "virtual" zone outside of time and space, which is the domain of God+, and from which God can direct the other layers. Chopra has written that human beings' brains are "hardwired to know God" and that the functions of the human nervous system+ mirror divine experience.
In 2012, reviewing ''War of the Worldviews+'', written as a debate between Chopra and physicist Leonard Mlodinow+ about cosmology, evolution, consciousness and God, physics professor Mark Alford wrote that "the counterpoint to Chopra's speculations is not science, with its complicated structure of facts, theories, and hypotheses," but rather Occam's razor+.-->

In 1999 ''Time'' magazine included Chopra in its list of the 20th century's heroes and icons. The following year
Mikhail Gorbachev+ referred to him as "one of the most lucid and inspired philosophers of our time." Cosmo Landesman+ wrote in 2005 that Chopra was "hardly a man now, more a lucrative new age brand – the David Beckham of personal/spiritual growth."

As of 2014 Chopra has written 75 books, 21 of them ''New York Times'' bestsellers, which have been translated into 35 languages. According to Paul Offit+, writing in 2013, Chopra's business grosses around $20 million annually, built on the sale of courses, books, videos, herbal supplements and massage oils; a year's worth of anti-aging products can cost up to $10,000. Chopra himself is estimated to be worth over $80 million as of 2014. As of 2005, according to Srinivas Aravamudan+, he was able to charge $25,000–30,000 per lecture five or six times a month.

English professor George O'Har argues that Chopra exemplifies the need of human beings for meaning and spirit in their lives, and places what he calls Chopra's "sophistries" alongside the emotivism of Oprah Winfrey+. Paul Kurtz+ writes that Chopra's "regnant spirituality" is reinforced by postmodern criticism of the notion of objectivity in science, while Wendy Kaminer+ equates Chopra's views with irrational belief systems such as New Thought+, Christian Science+ and Scientology+.

Several scientists have criticized Chopra's mix of spirituality and science. According to Ptolemy Tompkins+, the medical and scientific communities' opinion of him ranges from dismissive to damning; criticism includes claims that his approach could lure sick people away from effective treatments.
In 2013 he argued that militant skeptics were editing Wikipedia to prevent what he believes would be a fair representation of the views of such figures as Rupert Sheldrake+. The result, he wrote, was that the encyclopedia's readers were denied the opportunity to read of attempts to "expand science beyond its conventional boundaries".Deepak Chopra, , ''The Huffington Post'', November 4, 2013.
*For the series, see Deepak Chopra and Jordan Flesher, , , , November 13, 18, 26, 2013; Deepak Chopra, , ''The Huffington Post'', May 15, 2014. Biologist Jerry Coyne+ responded claiming that at Wikipedia, Chopra's "own lucrative brand of woo is finally exposed as a lot of scientifically-sounding psychobabble".

-->In April 2010 Aseem Shukla+, co-founder of the Hindu American Foundation+, criticized Chopra for suggesting that yoga+ did not have its origins in Hinduism+ but in an older Indian spiritual tradition. Chopra later said that yoga was rooted in consciousness alone, expounded by Vedic rishis long before Hinduism ever arose. Shukla responded that Chopra was an exponent of the art of "How to Deconstruct, Repackage and Sell Hindu Philosophy Without Calling it Hindu!"-->

;Books

*(2013) with Sanjiv Chopra+, ''Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream'', New Harvest.
*(2013)
*(2012) with Rudolph E. Tanzi+,
*(2012) ''God: A Story of Revelation''. HarperOne.
*(2011) with Leonard Mlodinow+, ''War of the Worldviews+''. Harmony.
*(2009) Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul
*(2008)
*(2008)
*(2004)
*(2000) with David Simon,''The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook'', Random House.
*(1996) The Path to Love
*(1995)
*(1995)
*(1995)
*(1994)
*(1991) ''Return of the Rishi: A Doctor's Story of Spiritual Transformation and Ayurvedic Healing''. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
*(1991)
*(1989)
*(1987)
div col end:

;Articles
*(2014) , ''Physics of Life Reviews'', 11(1), March, pp. 81–82.
*(2013) with Attila Grandpierre, P. Murali Doraiswamy, Rudolph Tanzi+, Menas C. Kafatos+, , ''NeuroQuantology'', 11(4), December, pp. 607–617.
*(2011) with Menas Kafatos, Rudolph E. Tanzi, , ''Journal of Cosmology'', 14.
*(2011) with Stuart Hameroff+, "The 'Quantum Soul': A Scientific Hypothesis," in Alexander Moreira-Almeida, Franklin Santana Santos (eds.), ''Exploring Frontiers of the Mind-Brain Relationship'', Springer, pp. 79–93.
*(2011) , ''Virtual Mentor'', American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, 13(6), June, pp. 394–398.
*(2000) Foreword in Amit Goswami, ''The Visionary Window: A Quantum Physicist's Guide to Enlightenment''. Quest Books.
*(1997) Foreword in Candace Pert+, ''The Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine''. Scribner.

* List of people in alternative medicine+
* Andrew Weil+
* Hard problem of consciousness+
* Panpsychism+
* Spiritual naturalism+



*

:Butler, J. Thomas. "Ayurveda," in ''Consumer Health: Making Informed Decisions'', Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2011, .
:Butler, Kurt and Barrett, Stephen+ (1992). ''A Consumer's Guide to "Alternative Medicine": A Close Look at Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Faith-healing, and Other Unconventional Treatments''. Prometheus Books, pp. 110–116. ISBN 978-0-87975-733-5.
:
:Kafatos, Menas+, Nadeau, Robert+. ''The Conscious Universe: Parts and Wholes in Physical Reality'', Springer, 2013.
:
:Scherer, Jochen. "The 'scientific' presentation and legitimation of the teaching of synchronicity in New Age literature," in James R. Lewis+, Olav Hammer+ (eds.), ''Handbook of Religion and the Authority of Science'', Brill Academic Publishers, 2010.
refend:

New Age Movement:
Pseudoscience:
Transcendental Meditation:


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Deepak Chopra+ Deepak Chopra () (born October 22, 1947) is an Indian-American author, public speaker and physician. A prominent alternative-medicine advocate and author of several dozen books and videos, he has become one of the best-known and wealthiest figures in the holistic-health movement and has been described as a New-Age guru.
 Deepak Chopra (Canada Post)+ Deepak Chopra is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Post Corporation, known more simply as Canada Post (French: Société canadienne des postes, or simply Postes Canada), the Canadian crown corporation which functions as the country's primary postal operator.
Deepak Chopra's Buddha+ Deepak Chopra's Buddha is a comic book on the life of Buddha, featuring artwork by Virgin Comics artists, written by Deepak Chopra.
 Deepak Chopra (disambiguation)+ Deepak Chopra may refer to:
India Authentic (comics)+ Deepak Chopra's India Authentic is a series of one-shot comic books from Virgin Comics which re-tell the iconic myths and legends of India for a global audience.