Commentary: How discoveries come about and how they can be accentuated

Pradeep B. Deshpande

There are two types of discoveries, ones which occur in the ocean of existing knowledge, and others that lie beyond the realm of existing knowledge.

Existing knowledge lies in the domain of reason, accessible to the five senses and the rational mind, and it is ever-growing with time. Products of reason, such as sciences, laws, policies tec., are the tools with which to access discoveries in the domain of existing knowledge. Such discoveries amount to connecting the dots in the ocean of existing knowledge.

Discoveries that cannot be brought about on the basis of existing knowledge are in the domain of heightened consciousness. Transcending reason is the only pathway to make discoveries that are in the domain of heightened consciousness.


Type I discoveries come about when an inquiring mind reaches deep state of contemplation. Such discoveries amount to connecting the dots in the ocean of existing knowledge.

Type II discoveries can come about when the focus of attention is further enhanced, as with meditation or in prayer. These discoveries cannot be brought about on the basis of existing knowledge for they are beyond the realm of reason.  In Sanskrit, Type II discoveries are called Shruti, meaning revealed.

Ancient times, when there wasn’t much knowledge present, offer a myriad of discoveries that are beyond the realm of reason.

  1. Creation. Shiva has been known as Ardhanareshwara (half male – half female) for millennia. Shiva is also referred to as Paratpara, meaning beyond Gunas-attributes, while his wife, Parvati, is known as Adyashakti, meaning primordial energy. Shiva is also known as primordial consciousness. In ancient Indian mythology, both Paratpara Shiva and Adyashakti are required for creation and for life.


In 2014, modern physics arrived at the conclusion, the universe came out of nothing, a void, and that the nothingness of the void produced the energy phase of the big bang, which then created the universe (Amanda Gefter, Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn). Modern physics also arrived at the conclusion, the void cannot be anything else but undifferentiated consciousness (Kowall, 2014).


  1. Saamkhya. Rig Veda references the Saamkhya philosophy and there is a chapter on Saamkhya Yoga in the Bhagavad Geeta. Saamkhya posits that all creation comprises of five principal elements: Prithvi (Matter), Jal (Water), Agni (Fire), Vayu (Air) and Akash (Consciousness and energy), and three Gunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas). The three Gunas are, in turn, related to two human emotions: Positive emotions and Negative emotions.


Ancient seers recognized that we all come from the source and should want to return to the source at the end of life, and they came up with processes with which to accomplish this task. In Buddhism, this process is called Thukdam. His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, the body of a monk undergoing the process of thukdam can remain warm and free from decomposition for many days after clinical death, meaning that the principal elements, Earth, Water, Fire, have remained after clinical death. See this video clip showing a Thai monk leaving his body consciously in about six minutes


In Hinduism, the process of returning to the source is called Jeeva Samadhi. See this record of a disappearing swami after death reported in the South Arcot District’s Madras District Gazetteers in 1906.


  1. Intuition. 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. There are a set of yogic exercises with which intuition can be enhanced, especially in children. See these two video clips as a demonstration (Aha Dharana, Kaun Banega Crorepati).


  1. Gayatri Mantra from Rig Veda (Jaisundar, 2000). A scientist at the All Institute for Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, has shown that regular chanting of Gayatri Mantra from the Rig Veda eliminates the asymmetry in the neurochemicals in the two hemispheres of the brain.


  1. Mantras from Yajurveda (Hartzell, 2019). An American brain scientist has shown that certain mantras from Yajurveda make that portion of the brain which is responsible for cognition, stronger.


  1. Discoveries of S. Ramanujan. Barely a high school graduate, Ramanujan would write down complex theorems and their proofs without ever knowing the steps in between. Asked by his mentor, G. H. Hardy at Cambridge how he does that, Ramanujan replied, Goddess Habaki speaks to me, sometimes she puts the equation on my tongue, sometimes in sleep.


The feelings of Shraddha (faith), Bhakti (devotion), Vishwas (trust/confidence) and Samarpan (surrender) have to be exceptionally strong in individuals who succeed in making discoveries with this approach.


  1. Vedic Mathematics. In 1965, Jagadguru Shankaracharya published a book titled, Vedic Mathematics: Sixteen Simple Mathematical Formulae from the Vedas. There are no formulas to be found in the Vedas.


  1. Yogananda Paramahansa (1893–1952). Yogananda’s book, “Autobiography of a Yogi” sold 5 million copies and has been translated into 50 languages. This was the only book on the IPad of Apple Co-founder, Steve Jobs. At his instruction, everyone who was invited to his funeral service in 2011 received a gift-wrapped copy of the book.


The book contains several examples of phenomena beyond the realm of reason, and also photographs Yogananda’s interactions with Mahatma Gandhi, Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, and Sir J. C. Bose, FRS.


  1. 1905 Discoveries of Albert Einstein. The year 1905 is referred to as Einstein’s miracle year. That year, Einstein published four breakthrough papers, one of which earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.


Smoking a pipe, staring out of the huge glass window of his second floor apartment in Berne, Switzerland, deeply engrossed in his thought experiments, Einstein must have transcended reason and discoveries came to him.


There are many meditation techniques for transcending reason. They involve mantras and specific patterns of breathing.  Select the technique that best suits you.

During deep meditation, the state of thoughtlessness can occur, and then, discoveries can come to the meditator. The exact mechanism of how this happens is not well understood but experimental evidence suggests that it is true.




1Pradeep B. Deshpande is Professor Emeritus in and former Chairman of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Louisville.

2Sanjeev A. Aroskar. Sanjeev is Principal of Ganesh Computers in Pune, India, which specializes in control & energy devices. Aroskar obtained his B. Tech in Electronics and Computers from IIT Bombay.

3Gautam Gupta is Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Louisville.

4Mahendra K. Sunkara is Professor of Chemical Engineering, University Scholar and Director, Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research, University of Louisville.

5James P. Kowall, MD (University of Miami), PhD (Theoretical Physics, Brown University) is an independent researcher based in suburban Eugene, Oregon.


(The views expressed are entirely of the authors and do not reflect those of Parikh Worldwide Media or News India Times)



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