Popular New Age guru Dr Deepak Chopra was prepared to battle Christian fundamentalists when his book, The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore, was published.
Buy: The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore
But the fact that Hindus would attack a comedy film, The Love Guru, which is in a way a tribute to him, came as a complete surprise. Dr Chopra says he is aghast that people who do not have a sense of humour and whose faith is weak are attacking the film after seeing only the trailer. The Love Guru is about a white man (actor-filmmaker Mike Meyers) raised by Indian sadhus who comes to America in search of a spiritual career.
It has spurred Dr Chopra to write a parable called Why Is God Laughing. The film will be out in June, as will the book, which is dedicated to Meyers.
While Dr Chopra -- he has authored more than 50 books, translated into over 40 languages -- is going on the offensive against what he calls vegetarian fundamentalists, his more urgent task is to combat a small but vociferous Christian group that is convinced he is an avatar of the Anti-Christ. Some fundamentalists see him as a Hindu come from India to subvert Christianity.
"I have been called an Anti-Christ and worse," Dr Chopra, 61, says. At book readings he has also been called devil. Some protestors have said: Devil, go back to India. In an his interview to rediff India Abroad, Dr Chopra says he does not consider himself a Hindu and that has been his spiritual position for over 25 years.
Image: Deepak Chopra at one of his motivational talks in New York City.
Photograph: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
Part II: Rajan Zed: The Love Guru lampoons Hinduism
Part III: 'The intelligence of God is everywhere'
Also read: Hindu groups attack Mike Meyers' new film