Literature as the Route of Transmission of Buddhism into Britain

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Deepti Agarwal


Literary transmission of a subject has been a perennial phenomenon through the mode of literature because literary works are not produced in vacuum. Authors transpire the spirit of an age by creative amalgamation of their external influences, which they absorb from their social consciousness, and their internal influences to create fictional literary images, style, themes and motifs for a work. In this manner, an author’s influence from a preceding text or social consciousness exports to the successive literary works incessantly across the temporal and spatial dimensions. To determine literature as an intermediary or channel of transmission of Buddhism into Britain, the methodology of Influence Study is applied to delineate the spread of Buddhism through literary works. The investigation aims to identify the junctures of contact between an influence or an author and an influencer or the Buddhist source of information. Since multitude of impressions are involved in the ongoing process of literary production, the Influence Study  utilizes Auguste Comte’s philosophy of positivism and factual account of biographical details to verify the junctures of direct or indirect contact of the author with the Buddhist source of information via literary or extra-literary medium to map the route of interrelationships. For conclusive results, the tools of close reading and interpretive analysis are implemented by juxtaposing the texts imbibing the stylized Buddhist ideology with the teachings of Buddhism. In this connection, a few British texts such as Edwin Arnold’s the Light of Asia, Rudyard Kipling’s Kim, James Hilton’s Lost Horizon, and Aldous Huxley’s Island are scrutinized to investigate the literary transmission of Buddhism into Britain.


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How to Cite
Deepti Agarwal. “Literature As the Route of Transmission of Buddhism into Britain”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 5, no. 2, June 2020, pp. 30-42, doi:10.53032/tcl.2020.5.2.03.


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