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The Guru

HE STORMED the West with his practise of body-mind quantum healing in the 80s when the world was looking for some spiritual succour. The endocrinologist went on to become the most sophisticated of gurus who took panchakarma, ayurveda and yoga to the elite of the America. With an equally devoted following in India, Deepak Chopra, on one of his visits to Bangalore spoke to MetroPlus.

You are the guru of body-mind healing. But of late, the stress is more on the mind and people are turning more toward spirituality. Why is that?

It's a natural progression. Ultimately all of evolution is about the evolution of consciousness and it's the key to perception, cognition, biology, social interaction, environment, conflict resolution, creativity, to insight, to inspiration, meaning, to purpose, to freewill, to decision making. So why not go for that?

You moved from endocrinology to holistic medicine in the 1980s when super-specialities in medicine were at the beginning phase. Why?

Because I thought I was becoming a superb technician and a lousy healer. Because medicine is all about the physical body and nothing about the soul or the spirit.

You know of evangelist Benny Hinn's visit to Bangalore and the controversies surrounding it. What do you have to say about miracle healers? Do miracles heal? Does faith heal?

Belief does heal in some people, if you are simple enough and you believe something. Belief becomes biology - it's a biological process and has nothing to do with miracles. It's also in medicine called the placebo effect. But I think unfortunately it gives rise to a lot of exploitation.

There are so many gurus, theories and philosophies. Do you think ultimately it is the packaging that draws people?

No, I think if something is authentic it lasts a long time, but if something is packaging it lasts a very short time.

Like in Yoga, Indians are going back to it after the West embraced it. Like that, does everything need to find acceptance first among them to be embraced by Indians?

No, I think the West is in decline. And our President Mr. Bush is definitely accelerating the irrelevance and the isolation of the West. So the future belongs to Asia with its cultural and economic might against the irrelevance of the West.

You have always spoken of reversing ageing. Is it really reversible? Why defy a natural process at all?

The biological markers of aging such as blood pressure, cholesterol, vision, bone density, body temperature regulation, immune regulation -- they are reversible. If you do a few simple things, then you can have a better quality of life as you grow old. It's not that you don't grow old. It's just that you grow old in a healthy way. So you have the wisdom of experience and biology of youth at the same time.

: Then why is there such a large industry around the idea of anti-ageing?

It's all superficial. It's irrelevant and it's stupid.

So how do prevent ageing you?

Through meditation, through exercise, through changing your perception of time, through nurturing relationships, being forgiving, understanding the nature of love and compassion - these are the ways that make a long-term difference.

According to you can there ever be a person with perfect health?

No, then we would be doomed to stagnation if that happened. The universe renews itself through the mechanism of death. If we didn't have death, we would be doomed to eternal senility.


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