Pradeep B. Deshpande, President & CEO, Six Sigma & Advanced Controls, Inc.

Pradeep B. Deshpande is Professor Emeritus in and former Chairman of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Louisville. He is also president of Six Sigma and Advanced Controls, based in Louisville, Kentucky. He is an author or coauthor of eight books and one hundred articles. The ideas presented here are a subset of a scientific framework for a more peaceful world. He has made presentations to the staff of Indian Prime Minister’s Office, NITI Aayog, and the Parliament of Peru among numerous others. He is a recipient of several international awards and is a Fellow of ISA. 


UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development is emphasizing the importance of social and emotional learning in education (

The phrase, Emotional intelligence, has become popular in recent years. Daniel Goleman’s book, “Emotional Intelligence”, has reportedly sold 4 million copies, and translated into forty-five languages.

Emotional intelligence amounts to recognizing the importance of emotions in one self and in others, while emotional excellence additionally includes the wherewithal of how to bring about the necessary positive changes from within.

This article expands on these ideas and explains how they can transform higher education.

The present-day college curricula include courses in social sciences, physical sciences, engineering, medicine, business, law, etc. These courses are built upon existing knowledge, products of reason. The courses in the present-day college curricula are all products of reason.

The primacy of reason in college curricula is due to the philosophy of renowned 18th century German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, which says, “All knowledge begins with the senses, flows then to the understanding, and ends in reason. There is nothing higher than reason.” 

The confidence in the primacy of reason is further bolstered by the scientific discoveries in the West, largely responsible for human progress since the renaissance period.

The confidence in the primacy of reason isn’t wholly correct. 

Says the 19th century Indian monk, Swami Vivekananda, Indian thought dares to seek, and successfully find something higher than reason. Vivekananda visited America in 1893 for a presentation to the Parliament of World’s Religions in Chicago, and received a rock star reception.  Harvard and Columbia both made him an offer to Head a New Department of Eastern Religions. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal have written about Vivekananda’s continuing influence. Swami Ji’s wisdom can be proved.

Intuition is knowing something without the benefit of the five senses and the rational mind. Purposeful inculcation of intuition means that there is definitely something higher than reason. See these video clips: Aha Dharana, Kaun Banega Crorepati

There are other examples: The ancient Vedic literature is recognized as a treasure trove of wisdom. The Vedas were articulated when there was hardly any knowledge present. They are aptly called Shruti, meaning, revealed in Sanskrit.

An American brain scientist has shown that chanting of specific mantras from Yajurveda enhances that portion of the brain which is responsible for cognition (Scientific American).

And, Dr. Rama Jayasundar, a Professor of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance at the All India Institute for Medical Sciences in New Delhi, has shown that chanting of Gayatri mantra from Rig Veda can eliminate the asymmetry in the neurochemicals in the two hemispheres of the brain. Dr. Jayasundar obtained her PhD from Cambridge.

We are not suggesting that products of reason are useless, but rather, that there are two methods of solving problems and to making discoveries. The first is based on the products of reason, such as sciences. If the products of reason are found to be inadequate, then, transcending reason may be the only pathway to progress.

How does one transcend reason? By enhancing the focus of attention, as in deep contemplation and through meditation. 

Actually all discoveries occur when the focus of attention is enhanced, and they include the scientific discoveries during the renaissance period when the inquiring minds enhanced the focus of attention albeit, unknowingly. 

Here, we are explaining that purposeful enhancement of the focus of attention through meditation is a pathway to make new discoveries and to solve problems.

Successful enhancement of the focus of attention leads to higher levels of emotional excellence, with a shift from negative emotions (anger, hatred, hostility, resentment, frustration, jealousy, fear, sorrow and the like) toward positive emotions (love, kindness, empathy, compassion). 

The pursuit of a higher level of emotional excellence is a well-posed scientific problem as emotions can now be measured and the process with which to achieve a higher level of emotional excellence is meditation, or more generally yoga, known for thousands of years. The availability of a measurement device for emotions means progress can be audited.

There are two techniques for emotions measurement. One goes by the name, Bio-Well, and the other goes by the name EQ Radio. The latter was developed at MIT and uses radio frequency (RF) signals.

The Bio-Well device uses a harmless electrical current. Here, the device is connected to a digital computer and the subject places his/her finger tips on the glass electrode of the device, one at a time. Then, a harmless electrical current is applied to the finger. The finger’s response to this electrical stimulus is a burst of photons which are captured and analyzed. The results are presented as several parameters such as stress and energy, both functions of the level of emotional excellence.

In EQ radio, a wireless RF signal is sent to a subject and the device captures the reflected signal and analyzes it with a machine-learning algorithm to compute the heart rate, heart rate variability and the respiration rate from which emotions are estimated.  

Higher levels of emotional excellence leads to exemplary performance in all walks of life, higher creativity and innovativeness, health & wellness, better interpersonal relationships, and less discord and violence

Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders, and therefore, these ideas should to be included in higher education curricula across all disciplines.

They can be included in an existing course or in a new course dedicated to the pursuit of higher levels of emotional excellence. In either case, meditation must be an integral part of the course.

Emotional excellence has nothing to with race, religion, gender, or national origin, and furthermore, meditation practices must be devoid of all religious connotations. 

The performance improvement from the new program can be readily ascertained. Start with two sections of randomly selected students of the same class with the same instructor. The meditative practices should be introduced in one section but not in the other. It will be found that students in the section with meditation has performed better than the one without.

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