Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Laura Winkiel

Second Advisor

Janice Ho

Third Advisor

Jane Garrity

Fourth Advisor

Deepti Misri

Fifth Advisor

Lorillai Biernacki


The British fascination with Buddhism and India’s Buddhist roots gave birth to an epistemological framework combining non-dual awareness, compassion, and liberational praxis in early twentieth-century Indian and British writing. Four writers—E.M. Forster, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Lama Yongden, and P.L. Travers—chart a transnational cartography that mark points of location in the flow and emergence of this epistemological framework. To Forster, non-duality is a terrifying rupture and an echo of not merely gross mismanagement, but gross misunderstanding by the British of India and its spiritual legacy. To both Krishnamurti and Lama Yongden, non-dual awareness is a source of wisdom. For Krishnamurti, initially it is separation and then later, it is wisdom in action. For Yongden, it is experiencing the entire world as beloved, transcending personal territories and boundaries and expanding appreciation and connectedness out beyond imagination. Finally, for Travers, it is a magical display that represents restorative justice to the cosmos, a way of bringing things back into balance and bringing healing to the universe.