In Brotherhood, Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra reveal the story of their personal struggles and triumphs as doctors, immigrants, and brothers.
They were born in the ferment of liberated India after 1947, as an age-old culture reinvented its future. For the young, this meant looking to the West.
The Chopra brothers were among the most eager and ambitious of the new generation. In the 1970s, they each emigrated to America to make a new life. Both faced tough obstacles: while Deepak encountered resistance from Western-trained doctors over what he called the mind-body connection, Sanjiv struggled to reconcile the beliefs of his birthplace with those of his new home.
Eventually, each brother became convinced that America was the right place to build a life, and the Chopras went on to great achievements – Deepak as a global spiritual teacher and best-selling author, Sanjiv as a world-renowned medical expert and professor at Harvard Medical School.
Brotherhood will fascinate and inspire those who still believe in America’s capacity to foster achievement and reward hard work.
Praise for Brotherhood
“An inspiring and brilliantly written memoir of two brothers taking two drastically different paths to medicine, each giving us hope that dreams can still be fulfilled in America.”—Larry King
“Deepak and Sanjiv eloquently share their lives – their dreams, fears, obstacles, and achievements – in Brotherhood. An inspiration to keep dreaming and to remove the boundaries that have held us back in life.”—Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas
“An inspiring, must-read book that brings back fond memories of my journey in America and, in a larger sense, my life.” —Hugh Jackman
“Brotherhood is an uplifting account of sibling affection and success, and of the promise and infinite possibilities of America.” —Booklist
“Brotherhood is an amazing story about two brothers coming over from India –one to pursue Western medicine to its pinnacle, the other to pioneer the merging of modern medicine and ancient wisdom. It’s an inspiring story about the American Dream and about the growing support for the mind-body connection in healing.” —Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief, The Huffington Post Media Group
“Brotherhood is the story of five generations of Chopras, from grandparents to grandchildren. Deepak and Sanjiv tell us all about their lives: the pranks, games, and festivities, the joy and sadness, the lessons and values, and fond anecdotes of their youth in India. For those of us who have become followers of the thoughts and ideas of the Chopra brothers, Brotherhood is a must-read that confirms the old saying: ‘Childhood is destiny.’”—Vicente Fox Quesada, former President of México (2000–2006)
“Rich in multicultural perspective, deeply engaging, warmly entertaining, Deepak Chopra and his brother Sanjiv have written a superb narrative of India, America, medicine, healing, science, and faith. This is a book for modern America, and for people everywhere who ask the deep questions of life and seek the answers that only experience can provide.”—General (ret.) Wesley K. Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
“Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra have written a tender and graceful memoir, each sharply evoking a personal perspective on a shared family, professional, and community experience. In many ways, Brotherhood is a meditation on nature and nurture, extraordinary parents, and the power of Indian tradition and values.” —Richard F. Celeste, U.S. Ambassador to India (1997–2001)
“Open, honest, and brilliantly written. Brotherhood reaffirms why our arms, hearts, and policies must remain open to welcome those who are eager to live in the land of promise. Every page contains a thoughtful gem that will enlighten the reader about the universal truths that bind us together. Read this book and take comfort in the knowledge that dreams still matter in America.” —William S. Cohen, former Secretary of Defense and Chairman and CEO, The Cohen Group
“In Brotherhood, Deepak and Sanjiv beautifully articulate their birthright and the intoxicating and permeative influence it had on their lives as doctors and spiritual practitioners in the Western world. Through their entertaining storytelling, they thoughtfully and humorously depict how, in India, chaos and order, the ancient and modern, faith and disbelief collide to create enduring influence. I, too, discovered that you can leave India but that she never leaves you.” —Jacqueline Lundquist, author and former First Lady of the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, India
“Deepak Chopra and his younger brother, Sanjiv, have written an extraordinary and compelling account of their life’s journey from a privileged upbringing in India to careers in medicine and spirituality in America. It is a story of tradition, of sibling rivalry, of the responsibility to ‘give back at every conceivable opportunity,’ and of immigration to another world to fulfill their respective dharmas. But most of all, it is a story of family, which was their lodestar and remains the touchstone of their lives.”—Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley
“The story of Deepak and Sanjiv’s lives easily unfolds, bringing us full circle to the knowledge that brotherhood is universal. Brotherhood takes us on an epic journey discovering the heart of life.”—Marc Benioff, founder and CEO,Salesforce.com
The Chopra brothers, two sons of a British-trained cardiologist in India, grew up to embrace both Eastern and Western medicine in America. They charmingly recount their experiences in alternate, temperamentally uneven takes in this memoir. Deepak is enormously well-known as the disseminator of the Indian holistic practice of Ayurveda in the West, through his score of books (Perfect Health et al.) and medical practice; his younger brother, Sanjiv, is less known but no less revered as a practicing liver specialist, teacher at Harvard Medical School, and also an author (Leadership by Example).
The two affectionately vie in telling their family stories, from growing up in the 1950s and ’60s in an educated Hindu family in India, moving (according to the dictates of their father’s career as an army doctor) from Pune, to Jabalpur, to Shillong to Delhi, attending the Irish Christian Brothers schools, forming their own cricket teams (Sanjiv was the better athlete, Deepak the scholar), and ultimately both resolving to study medicine – to the delight of their parents. Yet while each immigrated to New Jersey and then moved to Boston to study and pursue his specialty – with Sanjiv focusing on gastroenterology, Deepak on endocrinology – Deepak’s immersion in Transcendental Meditation led by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi steered him back to traditional Indian practices, ironically. The bifurcated memoir depicts some fascinating aspects of Indian assimilation in America, and the often hilarious, touching cultural clash.
Two brothers, both doctors, reflect on a remarkable journey from their childhood in newly independent India to their success and renown in Obama’s America. Throughout this dual memoir, the Chopra brothers insist they are two very different people, and they offer some evidence to support this contention. Readers, however, will more likely be struck by their similarities, by the common chords sounded as each takes over in alternating chapters to tell what amounts to a love story: their love of family, of medicine, of their native India and their adopted America. They shared schooling, games and friends as the privileged children of a prominent physician in a land where Western medicine was still new. Both came to America to complete their medical education, and, though they encountered some casual prejudice, both were happily surprised by the egalitarian nature of their training. They tell some interesting, frequently amusing stories about their personal and professional assimilation, and they explain their decisions to stay in the U.S., even as they maintain deep ties to their Indian heritage.
Deepak (co-author: Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being, 2012, etc.) revisits his controversial embrace of alternative medicine and his decision to strike out on his own as a “professional outsider.” He describes this as “the fork in the road” separating the siblings, but no great differences emerge from his younger brother’s telling. Indeed, fearful only that his brother will be misunderstood, Sanjiv appears to accept most of Deepak’s insights about the mind–body connection. Certainly, as a dean at Harvard Medical School, Sanjiv (co-author: Leadership by Example: The Ten Key Principles of All Great Leaders, 2012, etc.) is more closely tied to the medical establishment, but he remains intrigued and fully supportive of his brother’s path-breaking career. A charmingly conversational tale of devotion – to each other and to the science and art of medicine.