The authors attribute to Nehru the remark that the genius of India consists of synthesis, an attribute embodied in this surface history from the Third Millenium B.C. and the Indus Valley cultures to the Seventeenth Century A.D. and the entrenchment of the Muslems. The authors follow the development of Indian culture, in particular the religio-social structure from the Harappan culture through the Aryan formulations that led to Hinduism; the Sixth Century B.C. shoots of Jainism and Buddhism. They also describe the dynasties--the Mauryan Empire, the Guptas, the Mughals. Picture essays embroider on themes of the various chapters, include such subjects as Animals Beloved and Revered, the Buddha's Path to Wisdom, Krishna, the Taj Mahal. A chronological listing of significant events, a Hindu pantheon conclude.