You are here: Rediff Home » India » News » Photos
Search: The Web
  Email this Page  |   Write to us


The man who took on religion

April 23, 2008
Even before the controversy over the film The Love Guru, which has angered Hindu activists, spiritual guru Dr Deepak Chopra was under attack from Christians and Buddhists. In the first of a three-part series on the controversy, Arthur J Pais discovers why Chopra likes to take on fundamentalists.

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

© 2007 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.Disclaimer | Feedback