March 16, 1959
|Occupation(s)||Author, speaker, consultant|
|Spouse||Danny Moorjani (m. 1995)|
|Relatives||Anoop Shamdasani (brother)|
After she was diagnosed with stage 1A Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2002, and rejected conventional treatment, Moorjani was taken to a hospital in 2006 where she lay in a coma for 30 hours, during which Moorjani claims to have undergone a near-death experience.
Early life and education
Moorjani was born to Sindhi Indian parents Hargobind (father) and Neelu (mother) Shamdasani in Singapore. Shortly after her birth, her family moved to Sri Lanka, and when she was two years old, the family moved to Hong Kong, where she and her older brother Anoop grew up. Moorjani and her brother both studied in British schools. As an ethnic minority in a majority British school, Moorjani says she was often the victim of bullying. Moorjani's parents are Indian, and because of her diverse cultural background, she grew up multilingual, speaking Sindhi, Cantonese, and English simultaneously.
In February 2002, while living and working in Hong Kong, Moorjani was diagnosed with lymphoma after finding a lump on her neck. Initially, Moorjani rejected conventional medicine. She had watched several people close to her die of cancer, including her brother-in-law and her best friend, despite extensive conventional treatments. Over the months that ensued, Moorjani experimented with various alternative healing practices to no avail. She subsequently underwent several conventional cancer treatments. However, by that point, despite beginning these treatments as she was brought into hospital, her doctors informed her and her family that it was "too late" to save her life. The lymphoma had spread throughout her body and had metastasized. At that point, all of Moorjani's organs had shut down, and she entered into a coma.
Moorjani came out of the coma 30 hours later. During those 30 hours, Moorjani asserts that she experienced many characteristic details of a near death experience. Her account includes an out-of-body experience with observations and awareness of physical surroundings. Moorjani said she had a strong reluctance to return to her suffering and dying physical body but was encouraged to return by her father and her best friend who told her that she needed to return and to "live her life fearlessly."
Subsequent to coming out of her coma, Moorjani's tumors shrank by about 70% within four days, and within five weeks she was cancer-free and released from the hospital, although she had to spend a few months in physiotherapy to regain her strength and the use of all her muscles and limbs. Moorjani remains cancer-free to this day.
Moorjani submitted the description of her NDE and subsequent healing to the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF) website, a site owned and run by oncologist Jeffrey Long and his wife, Jody Long, a family law attorney.
Moorjani's story came to the attention of American self-help author, Wayne Dyer, who contacted his publishers, Hay House, asking them to locate her and suggest that she write a book, which they would publish.
Dying to be Me was published in March 2012, and hit The New York Times bestsellers list two weeks after its release. Moorjani was then invited to be on Wayne Dyer's PBS special titled "Wishes Fulfilled", and since then, has been interviewed on "Fox And Friends," CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," National Geographic International, Karen Davila's Headstart on ANC Philippines, and many others. Dying to be Me has subsequently sold over a million copies worldwide, and has been published in more than 40 languages.
In January 2016, Moorjani's case attracted the attention of Dr. Oz, who scrutinized her medical records, and subsequently invited her to be on his show.
In the years following, Moorjani has published three additional books: "What if this is Heaven" (Hay House 2016), a self-published children's book "Love - A Story About Who You Truly Are" (2017), and most recently, the self-empowering "Sensitive is the New Strong" (Simon and Schuster, 2021).
Skeptics criticize Moorjani's message. Vicky Allen, journalist at The Herald Scotland, states "These people are at the centre of a disturbing approach to illness, and cancer in particular, that sees it as a disease to be tackled with the mind and positive thinking. It is a movement which many within the medical establishment believe is dangerous." Peter Allmark of Sheffield Hallam University, co-author of a 2011 paper, A Critique Of Positive Thinking In Cancer Care, denounces the approach as "quackery".
Medical explanation of recovery from cancer
According to one article, oncologist hematologist T.K. Chan, who treated Moorjani at the critical stage of her illness, ascribed her recovery to the draining of her lungs carried out by medical specialists after she was admitted to hospital, followed by chemotherapy which she had refused for four years. Chan stated, "with lymphoma, it's never too late" and "Hodgkin's disease is quite curable... it can have a dramatic response to chemotherapy". On the same article, oncologist Peter Ko, who arranged to see Moorjani and all her medical records on a visit in November 2006, declared that chemotherapy could not have occasioned such a dramatic recovery, and also that it could have been highly toxic, considering the state of her failing organs. Ko stated, "either her mind or body was able to send a message to the cancer cells to turn off the mutated genes" and "chemotherapy does work well with Hodgkin's, but I've never seen it work like this".
- Moorjani, Anita (2021). Sensitive Is The New Strong: The Power of Empaths in an Increasingly Harsh World.
- Moorjani, Anita (2018). The Near Death Experience Meditation (Audio recordings). Think Big Records.
- Moorjani, Anita (2017). What If This Is Heaven?. Hay House Inc. ISBN 9781401943325. OCLC 976237932.
- Moorjani, Anita; DeMuro, Angie (2017). Love: A Story About Who You Truly Are. ISBN 9780988556881. OCLC 1020291361.
- Moorjani, Anita (2016). Heaven, an experiential journey: guided meditations for experiencing Heaven on Earth (Audio recordings). Think Big Records.
- Moorjani, Anita (2015). Dying to be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing. ISBN 9789381431375. OCLC 929824902.
- Moorjani, Anita (2012). Deep Meditation for Healing. Hay House. ISBN 9781401940409. OCLC 1060743613.
- Chopra, Deepak; Moorjani, Anita (2017). Heal (Video). Elevative Entertainment + The Orchard Films.
- "#81-100 on the Spiritual 100 List in 2014 - Watkins MIND BODY SPIRIT Magazine". 3 June 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "2012 New York Times Best Seller List". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- "Anita Moorjani's amazing NDE and miraculous healing". International Association for Near-Death Studies. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- "Anita Moorjani Answers an Oncologist". Lab of Evolution. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
- Kaye, Randi (29 November 2013). "Stories of life, death and faith: 'To Heaven and Back'". CNN. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- "Proud to Be Me Growing up in a cultural mélange". Hay House. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- Moorjani, Anita (1 March 2012). My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing (1st ed.). USA: Hay House; Unabridged Version edition (1 March 2012). p. 98. ISBN 978-1401937515. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- “Dying to Be Me”, 76.
- "Anita M's NDE". Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF). Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- Dyer, Wayne. "Dr. Wayne Dyer: Wishes Fulfilled". PBS. Archived from the original on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- Allen, Vicky (16 September 2012). "Is there a negative side to positive thinking?". The Herald Scotland. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
- Parry, Hazel (3 February 2007). "A remarkable recovery, but was it mind over matter or modern science?". South China Morning Post: International Edition. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- JO,"Life After Death and Finding Your Purpose? Anita Moorjani", Healing Earth, February 13, 2018.