Ones background is usually associated with an individuals identity in a society. A society of individuals belonging to different cultural/ethnic backgrounds helps diversify and enrich ones community as people belonging to different faiths and beliefs come together on a common platform to share their knowledge and to apply it to make progress in various spheres of life. America coined as the land of opportunity is a typical example of one such society , where people belonging to all parts of the world come to find their piece of the pie
I originally belong to India , a country diversified with numerous cultures , faiths , religions and tradition. India, although not based on such a stable economic Infrastructure as the USA , still has a lot to offer , primarily being its diversity in various cultures , numerous traditions and its society that holds together people from different religions e. g. Hindu , Muslim , Sikh , Christian.
India has a rich traditional background which is respected by millions around the globe, who find this feature in ones society quite remarkable , especially in this age of high tension living where people are so caught up with their personal lives , being hard pressed on time even for their kids, that issues like culture , tradition and moral values have no space in their busy schedule. India was ruled by the British empire for nearly 200 years. The English came to India with the sole purpose of plundering its wealth.
Known as the golden eagle India was robbed of many of its resources, but there are things that the British could not strip from us, things that allow us to identify ourselves as unique in this world ; things like our sense of integrity, morals and ethics. Fighting for independence under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi, and his principles of AHIMSA or non violence, India was able to take back its independence from the British, liberating itself on August 15th, 1947; a date that holds much importance in every Indian heart.
Long after the British and after more than 50 years of independence, the values of non violence and its importance for harmonious living, perpetuated by Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle, have been inculcated in the lives of every Indian citizen and have received world wide acknowledgment. Undoubtedly I am fiercely proud to be Indian , and with respect to this I would like to base my essay on one such individual , who although originally Indian has made a lasting and impressive impact on American society.
Dr. Deepak Chopra , was born in the capital city of India , New Delhi somewhere in or around 1947. Born as the son of Mr. Krishan Chopra , an eminent cardiologist and physician in the Indian army , Deepak never had ambitions of being a doctor. Instead, he had hopes of being a journalist because of his flair for the English language. Educated in an Irish Christian Missionary School in New Delhi, he was an avid reader of literature and read books ranging from works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Sherlock Holmes .
His favorite books were however those featuring doctors as heroes, among them being Sinclair Lewiss Arrowsmith, Lloyds C. Douglass The Magnificent Obsession. It is because of his hobby and passion for reading that as he grew up he realized his enthusiasm for medicine. After graduating from the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences in 1968, Chopra took the first step out of India in 1970 and migrated to USA to seek his fortune. On completion of his residency and internship at Muhlenbert Hospital in Plainsfield, New Jersey, he went on to become an endocrinologist .
Owing to his fierce competitive and ambitious spirit , it wasnt long before his medical career reached its apogee when in 1985 he was named as chief of staff at the New England Memorial Hospital(now known as Boston regional medical center) in Stoneham Massachusetts! Although his career was booming , there seemed to be something that disturbed him. As quoted in People Magazine, he had begun to view himself as a legalized drug pusher , dispensing antibiotics & sleeping pills.
After 14 years as an endocrinologist , Deepak decided to explore and promote ayurveda , an ancient Indian system of holistic healing that takes into account the integration of psychological and physical mechanisms . According to his ideologies, awareness of the mind/body can facilitate healing, lead to inner peace, and even reverse the aging process. It is due to his approach to medicine and his concepts of healing that have earned him international repute as well as scorn from sections of the medical society.
It was with the assistance of his guru, Maharishi Mahesh yogi that Deepak was able to combine transcendental meditation along with his knowledge in the medical field which helped him in promoting ayurvedic treatment to American society. Ayurvedic treatment proved to be very successful with the western community who viewed his holistic system of treatment as a welcome change from traditional doctors who were now perceived as uncaring , unsympathetic and overpaid.
His combination of western training backed by impeccable credentials with his strong eastern influences were a runaway success , and it wasnt long before he reached the pinnacle of his new found ambitions. Ayurveda and transcendental meditation are according to him the science of future medicinal treatment. His own health was once impaired due to his reliance on toxin producing substances like caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. After reading a book on transcendental meditation in 1985 that greatly influenced him, Doctor Chopra quit alcohol within a week and stopped smoking within three weeks.
There are four important things to gain in life: fame, wealth, a happy family life, and spiritual attainment; It is this advice given to him by fellow physician, Dr. Bhrishpati Dev Triguna, that helped Dr. Chopra reshape his ways of perceiving life and understand the importance of ayurveda. Ayurveda, a five- thousand-year-old Hindu tradition of holistic treatment essentially means life science or knowledge of life that takes into account three characteristics in an individual – VATA, PITTA & KAPHA to determine one’s mind/body type He soon put his writing abilities to use and started to write books on his newfound passion/profession.
His enormously successful best seller Ageless body , Timeless mind:The quantum Alternative to growing old, published in 1993 was his ticket to the big leagues and as they say the rest is history. The thing that intrigued me and evoked my interest in this particular individual was perhaps his characteristic of relentless ambition and his ability to stand up for what he felt was right. His impact on the American society is undoubtable as his works relating to his profession as well as his literary works have left a lasting impression on the minds of his peers , patients and admirers.
His ability to have carved a niche in an alien and different environment speaks very well of his character. Being immensely successful in his life has not fazed him from reality as he still continues to maintain strong ties with his roots, and I am sure he too is fiercely proud to be Indian! Today Dr. Deepak Chopra is an eminent figure in the American medical society, and has definitely for the most part of it, fulfilled his desires and ambitions in being the kind of human being he wanted to be. Today he lives with his wife Rita and two kids Gautam and Mallika in La Jolla, California.