In 1983, tired of smoking and drinking to hold himself emotionally together as a busy physician and hospital chief of staff, Chopra visited the Indian headquarters of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He became an almost fanatic convert to TM, traveling the world pushing Maharishi’s patented Ayur-Veda Products. Until 1987 Chopra was “chairman and sole stockholder of Maharishi awarded a title translatable as Lord of Immortality.” Although he has since broken with Maharishi, the following excerpt from a newspaper article eight years ago helps us understand Chopra today:
“The man currently most responsible for disseminating the great sage’s [Maharishi’s] ideas is…Deepak Chopra, chief of staff of New England Memorial Hospital and now president of the American Association of Ayurvedic Medicine…. Under Maharishi’s guidance, Chopra has helped open 60 Ayurveda Medical centers in 23 countries…introduce[ing] the ancient Indian healing art to the Western world…. Chopra, 42, who meditates twice a day for 40 minutes, routinely prescribes it [TM] for his patients. He got into meditation eight years ago…he and his wife, Rita, both took instruction…. It changed his life…. He cut out cigarettes, coffee and alcohol and became ‘10 times more efficient….’
“Meanwhile…from materials Chopra passes out at his quantum healing seminars: ‘How I view my body, how I perceive it, determines my experience of it. My experience of it determines my reality of it. My interpretation of my body determines its reality, its very molecules…. I am now ready to reinterpret my body as a field of changing patterns that in fact I control.’”
It is clear that Chopra’s views of health and the body are derived from his practice of TM and from Hinduism’s doctrine of maya: that there is no objective world out there; we each create and control our own reality with our minds. We have already seen the absurdity of that belief. Chopra no more controls the molecular composition and function of his body than he can dispense with food and drink. He doesn’t even know the molecules of his body.
For any person to declare that his thoughts create “the very molecules” of his body—molecules which he can neither see nor his thoughts comprehend—betrays a psychotic delusion. That multitudes believe Chopra and hope to achieve this state for themselves bears witness to the delusionary power of the occult. The utter folly of Chopra’s statement cannot be denied. The molecules of his body are composed of electrons and subatomic particles some of which science hasn’t even discovered yet. And he controls them? Nonsense!
We have earlier seen the heavy occultism associated with TM. Chopra’s deep involvement in TM could explain his delusion. The very name “Transcendental Meditation” is dishonest. There is nothing transcendental about it. Through TM one does not come to know the true God who transcends all. Instead, one looks within to realize that one’s self is God. Consider the following testimony of two additional former TM instructors, Joan and Craig:
“JOAN: The initiation everyone must go through is a Hindu worship ceremony honoring the Hindu gods and Ascended Masters, including Maharishi’s own dead guru Dev. As a teacher of TM I was told to lie…to tell them [initiates] that the mantra we gave them was a meaningless sound, the repetition of which would help them to relax—whereas it was the really the name of a Hindu deity with tremendous occult powers behind it. For those who really got into it, TM was like taking a rocket ship into another state of consciousness…. They would eventually believe that…they could become God.
“CRAIG: I was deeply involved in TM for several years before I began to realize that I had joined a Hindu cult. By that time, however, I was too committed to…back out…. Several hundred of us from around the world studied for a month with Maharishi in Europe to become teachers of TM…and the effect it had was at times very frightening. Some would see grotesque spirits sitting next to them when they meditated. Some were attacked by the spirits. Others [were]…overcome with blind rage, even with the urge to commit murder…. Maharishi explained that bad karma was being worked out from past lives—a necessary part of our journey into “higher consciousness.” I finally achieve Unity Consciousness…. However, the initial euphoric feeling that I had “arrived” …soon gave way to panic. I had lost the ability to decide what was “real” and what wasn’t. Maharishi told me to stop meditating. Gradually I returned to a semblance of normality—but I suffered from frequent lapses into Unity Consciousness, much like a flashback from LSD. After coming to the United States, I worked at Maharishi’s International University. My roommate there committed suicide, and I was committed to a mental institution.”