This is a strikingly original work, the first real cultural history of India. The main features of the Indian character are traced back into remote antiquity as the natural outgrowth of a historical process. Did the change from food gathering and the pastoral life to agriculture make new religions necessary? Why did the Indus cities vanish with hardly a trace and leave no memory? Who were the Aryans – If any? Did the caste system ever serve any useful social purpose? How does it happen that slavery of the type seen in ancient Greece and Rome never appeared in India? Why should Buddhism, Jainism, and so many other sects of the same type come into being at one time and in the same region? How could Buddhism spread over so large a part of Asia while dying out completely in the land of its origin? What caused the rise and what led to collapse of Magadhan Empire? Was the Gupta Empire fundamentally different from its great predecessor, or just one more ‘oriental despotism’? These are some of the many questions handled with fresh insight, yet in the simplest terms, in this stimulating work.