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"John Harricharan leads us along the enchanted path of enlightenment with magic, charm, love and compassion."
--Deepak Chopra<



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#1 Best-Selling co-author
Conversations with Millionaires


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A Conversation with Dr. Deepak Chopra
by John Harricharan

Note from John Harricharan: Deepak Chopra has had a tremendous impact on all our lives. The mind-body connection, consciousness and its effects on events, weight loss, prosperity, health and healing, death and dying, high energy physics, prayer and meditation, how to make money, all are subjects addressed by Deepak Chopra in his books and lectures. He translates the complex into the understandable and challenges us to live a life of prosperity, abundance, joy, peace and all good things.What is even more delightful, Deepak Chopra is a fantastic inspirational as well as motivational speaker.

Conversation with Deepak Chopra


The threads of time weave strange webs through the fabric of history, wending their way in and out of the material in what might be called, at first glance, "disorder." And, yet, as the threads interweave their way through the centuries, a closer look would show that they produce the most glorious of patterns in the tapestry of life. So it was that an Indian medical officer, the son of an army sergeant, stationed with a small, ragged army in the wilds of Burma during the Second World War, would reach across time and space, span East and West and touch countless inhabitants of planet Earth.

Krishan Chopra, who sat in a lecture given by Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin, the same Krishan Chopra who was given his first, real opportunity to study medicine by Lord Mountbatten, last viceroy of India, gave the world one of its noblest children in the person of his son, Deepak Chopra, M.D. Deepak is the founding president of the American Association of Ayurvedic Medicine.

These days, Deepak can be seen at airports, in lecture halls, at international conferences and at small and large gatherings as he crisscrosses the oceans and continents of the world bringing hope, knowledge and wisdom to hundreds of thousands. Not only does he speak to groups of his peers, well educated in the fields of medicine and philosophy, but he reaches out and touches the "common person" with such love and understanding that he changes their very lives for the better.

I was sitting in my office one day, many years ago, when a friend visited and handed me a book.

"This is a gift for you, John," she said, "I think you'll really enjoy it. You'll find it quite interesting."

"Oh, not again," I thought, "I have so many books to read and so little time available." I thanked her politely, however, and put it away for some future date when events would not be as hectic as they were in my life at that time. Somehow or other, I did get around to it and from the moment I started reading, I could not put it down. Here was a master of the art of story-telling. He held me spell-bound as I followed the beauty and simplicity of his wisdom through the pages. At the end of the book, I had the greatest desire to meet the author, Deepak Chopra. In time, events would lead to just such a meeting.

It was in New York City that I first met him. The meeting was pre-arranged and I was very excited, but at the same time, a bit apprehensive. Just from reading his books, I felt a deep kinship with him, yet, I was concerned about the type of reception I would get. I am acquainted with a good number of famous authors and many a time, I wished that I had only read their books and never met them. Here I was again, meeting another author. Perhaps he had a large ego. Success sometimes does that to people, especially when they make money -- lots of it. Or, worse yet, perhaps he would sit there and speak in glowing generalities, saying volumes but meaning nothing. However, there was no need to worry. Deepak was much more than an author.

I knocked on the door of his hotel room and waited. There was no answer. I knocked again and a moment or two later, the door opened and a smiling face greeted me with the words, "Come in, John, I'm sorry it took so long to get the door. I was on the phone."

"I am looking forward to our meeting," I said as I entered and he closed the door.

"Please sit," he said as he pointed to a chair, "Can I get you any refreshments?"

"No, thank you," I replied as I sat.

We spoke for quite some time about issues of health and healing. We touched on his private life, on his philosophies and his dreams and visions for the future. When I left, I knew that I had found a long lost brother and friend and that we would always keep in touch.

Deepak initially came to the attention of the public through his first book, "Creating Health." Following this, was "The Return of the Rishi," a beautiful and well-written work which paved the way for the successes that were to follow. The New York Times referred to the "Return of the Rishi" as "A rich and compelling book," adding, "We can't help wishing he lived close enough to make house calls."

Deepak Chopra is an endocrinologist, a former chief of staff of New England Memorial Hospital in Stoneham, Massachusetts and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. "The Return of the Rishi" was followed by the ground-breaking bestseller, "Quantum Healing : Exploring the Frontiers of Mind-Body Medicine." "Quantum Healing" showed how health and illness in the human body are controlled by awareness at the level of quantum physics, where mind and body are one and where matter and energy are interchangeable.

Deepak is eminently qualified by virtue of his Western medical training combined with his esoteric Eastern knowledge to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western medicine. His other books are practical guides to harnessing the healing power of the mind using the ancient principles of Ayurveda, a 5000-year-old system of mind-body medicine. "Ageless Body, Timeless Mind" has always been one of my favorites.

It is not that Mind-Body medicine hasn't been around for a long time but that this is the first time in recent history that its popularity is growing in leaps and bounds. This is also the first time that it is being studied by qualified scientists and doctors who are saying that there is much validity to its techniques. Rather than being a fragmented, little-known system as has been the case in the West in the past, Mind-Body medicine is being organized and popularized into powerful techniques and methods. Foremost among the pioneers in this field is Dr. Deepak Chopra and much credit is due him for his tremendous contributions.

Chopra, himself, approaches the subject with zeal and dedication. His very confidence and sincerity has sometimes precipitated controversy. It appears that it is not his nature to shy away from controversy. Instead, he meets it head on with honesty, humility, love and an extreme measure of wisdom. His method of answering questions has delighted audiences on major television networks and have sent critics scurrying for shelter.

Not long ago, I read in a certain publication an editorial which seemed to imply that Deepak was "pushing" the Maharishi's Ayurveda with far too much enthusiasm. A few days later, while speaking with Deepak, I asked, "Why is it, Deepak, that some people are saying that you are too loyal to the Maharishi? They are saying that the Maharishi did not 'invent' Ayurveda, yet, they are accusing him of promoting it as if he did. What do you say to that?"

"It's interesting, John, that it has been perceived in that way by some," he answered. "It is true that Ayurveda existed long before the Maharishi. However, it was a fragmented method. Maharishi brought it into a form wherein the scientific community could look at it, study and research it. He is doing for Ayurveda what he did for meditation. I was introduced to Ayurveda by Maharishi so I give him credit."

"It does appear," I said, "That the Maharishi has been successful in bringing awareness of Ayurveda to many. But why the name 'Maharishi Ayurveda' instead of just Ayurveda?"

"It is for identification purposes, John," he replied, "Somewhat similar to the way the name 'Ford' Motor Company distinguishes itself from 'General' Motors. A brand name, if you will. And, yes, many of us are extremely pleased to see so many people beginning to understand the mind-body connection."

"And if I understand correctly, Deepak, it's not only in the United States that we are seeing this interest, but in many parts of the world, also. Do you feel that this will continue?"

With a smile that could disarm the toughest critic, he looked me straight in the eye and said, "There is a movement toward greater understanding, John, and it is not limited by geography. There is a tremendous interest in Asia, Europe, the Caribbean -- all over. As you know, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, you, I and others have spoken in many places about this. Yes, there is great interest all over. Leaping across the void of time and space, the ancient vedic wisdom speaks to us all with profound simplicity."

Dr. Chopra's books confound his detractors by putting Ayurveda in the hands of its readers. His writings and lectures, if you will, are the layperson's guide to better health, wealth and happiness.

One gets the feeling at times that Deepak's life is an all-consuming, endless round of activity, which, in any culture, could wear the physical and mental body down. Yet, in his case, one only has to spend a few minutes with him to see that this is not so. Perhaps, it's his regular practice of meditation; perhaps, it is because he practices what he preaches or a combination of both, but he always appears to be calm and relaxed, exuding a certain peace and joy uncommon in the world as we know it.

To be a member of his audience is a rare treat. Even though you may have heard him speak before, it is always gloriously refreshing to hear him again. He walks up to the podium, picks up the microphone and begins his talk. A few minutes pass and you find the audience leaning forward on the edge of their seats. Looking around the room, you see every eye cemented on him. Except for his voice, you could hear a pin drop. He continues speaking, switching sometimes from medicine to physics to philosophy and back and forth again in such a charming but logical manner that you are not sure where one leaves off and the other begins.

The audience laughs, becomes serious then laughs again as Deepak exhibits a profound sense of humor. He is in total control as he shares his wisdom. Completely at home with the most complex matters in his field of medicine, he presents facts based on modern day research and findings. He quotes the great English astronomer, Sir Arthur Eddington and follows with an explanation of some points made by Albert Einstein. The next moment, he is reciting a verse of a poem by Sir Rabindranath Tagore, late poet laureate of India. It is wonderful. There are those in the audience who are moved to tears. You glance at the clock on the wall and notice that an hour or two have passed. Too soon, the lecture ends. There is a standing ovation. Deepak thanks everyone and leaves the platform. He is surrounded by the crowd and you know that he must go, yet, he stops and speaks to those around him. He moves toward the door and you wave goodbye. There is great joy and deep sadness as you watch him go. Joy, because he has touched your very heart strings and sorrow, because he is now gone. Such is the measure of the man.

Rita, his wife, is a rare combination of beauty, charm, wit and intelligence. She completely supports his work as she brings a balance into his life. And then there are his two children, Mallika and Gautama, who are his pride and joy. Deepak's dedication to his work is only surpassed by his strong dedication to his family. But he is fast expanding that family to include all of humankind.

"Deepak," I once said, "'Quantum Healing' and your other books have resulted in a meteoric rise in your fame and fortune. Those are such excellent books. How do you improve on that which is perfect? Will you be writing other books?"

Again that charming smile combined with a boyish twinkle in his eyes as he replied, "You are very kind, John, but my books are not perfect. They are but vehicles meant to convey ideas. And yes, I will write more. I love writing."

"Yes," I said, "You indeed seem to love not only writing, but all you do."

"The beginning of a productive life is to be happy in all you do. The yogis speak of a state of bliss. It is not a faraway, unattainable, vague concept but something that is our birthright, here and now. It is within reach of all -- from the peasant to the prince, from the doctor to his patient."

And so goes our conversations, touching on various aspects of the human equation. It is always so with Deepak. His busy schedule keeps him moving around the country and around the world. We meet, whenever and wherever possible -- in New York City, in Atlanta, in Los Angeles and of course, in such exotic places such as Bali or Hawaii. Every meeting is like the first time -- fresh, fascinating and full of learning.

These days, I do not see my old friend as often as I used to. In some ways, I miss the old days when he and I had conversations that were sometimes more interesting than what either of us has written in our books. You can find Deepak on such major TV shows as "Larry King," "Good Morning America," and others. Or you can find his heart and soul in his books and tapes and lectures. Perhaps we'll meet again soon and exchange thoughts about the wonderful, mysterious ways of the Universe and life itself.

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