Ayurveda and mind-body healing: Legitimizing strategies in the autobiographical writing of Deepak Chopra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper explores the early autobiographical work of the popular health and well-being guru, Deepak Chopra. The autobiography (entitled Return of the Rishi) is Chopra’s account of his early forays into meditation and ayurveda, the Indian health tradition. It is the story of his ‘spiritual transformation’, and his development into a proficient ayurvedic healer. Following the lead of his one-time guru and mentor, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Chopra represents ayurveda as ‘consciousness-based’ medicine. This paper demonstrates how, by means of a series of narrative strategies deploying the motif of the semi-divine rishi or sage, and foregrounding personal experience as the ultimate source of spiritual legitimacy and authority, Chopra (a biomedical doctor with little or no formal training in ayurveda) seeks to secure legitimacy as an authority on ayurveda and an adept with extraordinary healing powers.
LanguageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Hindu Studies
Volume22
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

Keywords

  • Ayurveda
  • biography
  • popular health
  • marketing
  • spirituality

Cite this

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abstract = "This paper explores the early autobiographical work of the popular health and well-being guru, Deepak Chopra. The autobiography (entitled Return of the Rishi) is Chopra’s account of his early forays into meditation and ayurveda, the Indian health tradition. It is the story of his ‘spiritual transformation’, and his development into a proficient ayurvedic healer. Following the lead of his one-time guru and mentor, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Chopra represents ayurveda as ‘consciousness-based’ medicine. This paper demonstrates how, by means of a series of narrative strategies deploying the motif of the semi-divine rishi or sage, and foregrounding personal experience as the ultimate source of spiritual legitimacy and authority, Chopra (a biomedical doctor with little or no formal training in ayurveda) seeks to secure legitimacy as an authority on ayurveda and an adept with extraordinary healing powers.",
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Ayurveda and mind-body healing: Legitimizing strategies in the autobiographical writing of Deepak Chopra. / Warrier, Maya.

Vol. 22, No. 2, 09.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AB - This paper explores the early autobiographical work of the popular health and well-being guru, Deepak Chopra. The autobiography (entitled Return of the Rishi) is Chopra’s account of his early forays into meditation and ayurveda, the Indian health tradition. It is the story of his ‘spiritual transformation’, and his development into a proficient ayurvedic healer. Following the lead of his one-time guru and mentor, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Chopra represents ayurveda as ‘consciousness-based’ medicine. This paper demonstrates how, by means of a series of narrative strategies deploying the motif of the semi-divine rishi or sage, and foregrounding personal experience as the ultimate source of spiritual legitimacy and authority, Chopra (a biomedical doctor with little or no formal training in ayurveda) seeks to secure legitimacy as an authority on ayurveda and an adept with extraordinary healing powers.

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