What is life if you can’t be happy, if you can’t be in love, if you can’t be at peace? What is life if you don’t know your purpose of being, if you are unable to find meaning in your life? What is life, if you have questions unanswered and troubles mounting up leaving you troubled? What is life if you can’t sort it out and be healed, happy and healthy? Answering these and many hundred-thousand questions that trouble your day to day life and restrict you from reaching your highest potential is Dr. Sanjoy Mukerji, whose own life is no less of an adventure: A life of learning, of forgiving, of letting go, of being positive and of believing in oneself!
For Dr. Sanjoy Mukerji success is not limited to wealth and fame, he believes, “You are truly successful in life, when you have peace, happiness, health, of course wealth; and lots of love in your heart and life.”
On 2nd June 1963, Sanjoy was born to a lower middle-class family in Mumbai with origins in Bengal. While growing up, he developed a keen interest in spirituality, but he was not religious. He wanted to contribute towards humanity in some way, and medicine seemed to be one of the best professions to start this ‘journey of giving’. But his family couldn’t afford it, as they had limited means. His mother’s courage, and his father’s scientific bent of mind, sincerity and integrity were Sanjoy’s founding principles. In his teens, Sanjoy was quite an extraverted personality which was exactly opposite to his elder brother, who was an introvert. An eclectic and active child, Sanjoy was found participating in almost everything in school. Eveready to take on any challenge and do anything, Sanjoy followed his father’s mantra of ‘do-it-yourself’. His reality check of ‘remembering your financial constraints’ was the foundation that formed the basis of his start in life. This led to Sanjoy’s decision of enrolling into a BSc and not MBBS for higher education. “We had limited means and it was not possible for my father to fund my MBBS fee, so I decided to take up Bachelors in Science in a Mumbai college,” explains Dr. Sanjoy.
He was excellent in studies as well as in sports, dance, drama, body-building, and many other extra-curricular activities – a true all-rounder. No wonder, he won the all-rounder and best student of the year awards several times. Life was fun and interesting for him. His achievements made him a heartthrob in college and garnered enough attention by female co-students. In the last year of his college, he came across a first year student Kushal, who was ‘as beautiful as a fairy’. Sanjoy was enchanted. A love story nothing less than the ‘love at first sight’ from a Bollywood movie, she eventually became his wife.
Kushal was an all round personality who also worked as she earned. While she was serious about earning a livelihood and was a private person, Sanjoy was earning fame and accolades. A very outgoing and extroverted person he was always ready to help anyone in distress. But with her love and support, Sanjoy focussed on picking his skills to find a career that would help him excel in various aspects. An empathetic conversationalist and an active being, he started out as a Medical Representative in a Pharma company in Mumbai after finishing his Bachelors in Science in 1985. He took up this job, as his intention was to work in a field where he could help people become healthy; and since he didn’t have a qualification to treat them, he started with helping them in getting the right medicines. He married the love of his life, Kushal, on 4th February 1990. They were the most envied couple in their surroundings. At work, his skill and determination paid rewards and he kept getting promoted every 9 months to a year till the next five years in one company. While working, he also completed his management studies.
But there was a deep within desire to be a doctor that had to be fulfilled. Maybe life knew a way of giving him that what he asked for. After jumping out of his first company, he changed several jobs and was popular by the tag of a ‘job hopper’ but only to resign as a Vice President in the end. During his tenure at work, he realized that doctors and drugs can only treat diseases; the onus of our health was on us. He affirms that it is a lifelong responsibility of an individual to stay healthy that’s a mix of lifestyle choices, patterns and is much more than conventional medicines.
A secret plan was in the making.
While working, side by side he also did Post Graduation in Psychological Counselling, and soon after he also did Doctorate in Mind-Body Medicine, which is a branch of Alternative Medicines. In 1997, he quit his stable job and started his private practice in 1998 as a psychologist and counsellor. Moving from a platform of financial stability to starting afresh was not easy. But he managed beautifully, because of four pillars: Kushal’s emotional and financial support, his motivation, their ambition for a good future, and skills. “No matter what and how, she always stood by me and that’s why I could do everything. She was my backbone,” said Dr. Sanjoy. In the very first year of the practice, he won a Gold Medal for Mental Health Care by the Special Executive Magistrate Society. This was due to the unique amalgamation of Western Psychology with Eastern Spirituality. But that was not enough–a very enterprising and ambitious being–Dr. Sanjoy wanted more from his life and career.
In spite of this achievement, and being skilled, this was not an easy ride.
From 1999 till 2004, there was hardly any progress. The struggle was on to establish his practice. But along with his work, around the year 2000, he started researching on happiness, “to know where does happiness and unhappiness come from, and how could one be happy, no matter what.” As he researched, found the intricacies of happiness entwined with expectations, situations, relationship and work. He applied some principles on his own self to factor the result and effect. Towards the end of 2004, life gave Dr. Sanjoy a big shock. His wife, his pillar of strength, underwent a stroke. Her left brain got highly damaged. The top doctors (neurologists) of Mumbai said that her condition was critical and she would not survive for more than 10 days. All of life started to roll out in front of his eyes and he just knew one thing: he had to make her live. Kushal was not only his wife, but also his life, which was slipping away from his hand. He was quite shattered, but still running strong and solid. He said to himself, “It cannot be! I shall leave no stone unturned to ensure that she revives and survives. There has to be much more to this.”
This was the life-changing experience of Dr. Mukerji. The medical doctors were not able to give any well-founded causative factor for her stroke. They were simply beating about the bush; giving reasons like; maybe her blood pressure must have shot up (when the fact was, her blood pressure always used to be on the lower side). This was the time, when Dr. Mukerji started to find the missing link. His question was – “What must have gone wrong to such a fit young woman? Dr. Mukerji himself was suffering from Bronchial Asthma for more than 30 years. He literally cured himself of that with his expertise in mind-body medicine. Lungs, which were his weakest organs, became very strong. So he knew that most diseases can be reversed to a great extent by changing thought patterns and emotions; and with proper physical exercises. Similarly, he started working on his wife right from the second day of the stroke.
He uncovered the main cause of her stroke and that was – she was internally/emotionally very disturbed and depressed as her mother had passed away sometime back, which she could not accept and thereby rejected life. So it is not just physical fitness, but mainly mental health that counts in the long run. He extensively focused on making her better. He used his principles of Mind and Body on her and started to note the results. Slowly she started improving. This not only helped her get better but also helped Dr. Mukerji see his tests result in positive. He then worked a lot on her mind and body with psychotherapy and physiotherapy; and finally she survived but her right side was paralysed. He stopped all his professional work for almost 6 months to give full time and love to his wife.
“Love is the best healer!” he says. She did recover very well but had some deformities. In the interim, he did more research on psychosomatic illnesses and happiness. Then after 6 months he started redeveloping his practice, virtually from the scratch. But this time, with renewed confidence, belief and faith. In the next 5 years, he did a lot of good work; viz., patient counselling and healing, public talks, seminars and workshops. From 2010 onwards, his work started getting appreciated in big ways. More than 50 awards were offered to him over a period of time, out of which he accepted about a dozen national and international awards. A few of them are: Excellence in Spiritual Psychotherapy, Global Achievers Award, Shining Image of India Award, Rank-1 Marriage Counsellor, Noble Son of India Award, Mother Teresa Excellence Award, Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award, Indira Gandhi Sadbhavana Award. Despite his busy schedule, he used to spend more than enough time with his wife, whom he felt was a ‘miracle woman’. She fought well with her condition for so many years after the stroke. But then, she was becoming weaker day by day.
In August 2014, she took her last breath.
Doctors had given her only 10 days in 2004 to live; but her will power and determination, along with Dr.Mukerji’s love and expertise in mind-body work, gave her lovely 10 years to breathe each day, to love each day and to inspire Dr. Mukerji. No doubt, Dr. Mukerji was mentally prepared for this somewhere; but still, this was the biggest setback and tragedy in his life, even more than the demise of his parents, according to him. For the first 3 months, he felt lost and would often question on “what’s the point in living without her?” 30 years of togetherness, 5 years of courtship and 25 years of marriage; his reason to smile and his source of happiness, was snatched away leaving him alone. But then he recollected himself and remembered that his purpose in life was greater. He was born, ‘To help people to get healed, happy and healthy.’ For which he started with healing himself first. He even planned to leave India, but because of the massive support and love of his family-friends (Dalvi’s), other friends and well-wishers, he changed his mind to continue in India and contribute towards the society at large. Since then, Dr. Sanjoy has been spreading the message of love and joy. Besides treating patients, he now as well conducts SOHAM Happiness Program around the world, supported by his team.
“SOHAM Happiness Program is the most scientific program on happiness, which gives you the scientific basis of happiness, and also provides you with various methods to apply this science practically in your life. SOHAM stands for two reasons: If you break the acronym “SOHAM” into its alphabets; then each alphabet stands for
S – Science
O – Of
H – Happiness
A – And
M – Methods
And, as per Vedic/Vedantic philosophy, SOHAM means identifying oneself with the Universe or the Ultimate Reality. It’s a Sanskrit mantra, meaning ‘I am That.’,” Dr. Sanjoy explains. An outcome of his more than 15 years of study and research on happiness, Dr. Mukerji wants to spread SOHAM Happiness Program to every person who is fighting at odds with life, who needs a push and support, who wishes to live fully and happily.
His life’s lessons and learning are the basis of his purpose in life, which is his passion: He gives utmost importance to love and relationships; hence, apart from psychotherapy, he concentrates a lot on relationship/marriage counselling. Recently, Dr. Sanjoy Mukerji received “India’s Best Psychologist” Award in India’s Best Doctors Award Ceremony by Brands Impact.Surprisingly, Dr Mukerji looks much younger than his age! Right now he is 53, but he looks like he is 35. The reason, he says is happiness. He believes, “All your five sense organs and five vital organs can be kept almost in perfect condition, if you are truly happy and if your mind and body are very healthy. This is the key to staying fit, looking younger and growing better.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A development Sector Professional who started her career in journalism with names like TOI and Tehelka. What inspires Megha the most are the stories of people who learned to fight, to make it large. As an editor for India’s Most Inspiring Success Stories, her aim has been to bring out the stories that inspire to aspire. And for her, it has only reaffirmed her faith in dreaming and achieving.