Excerpt from Fables and Proverbs: From the Sanskrit; Being the Hitopadesa
The time during which the Vedas were produced extended over centuries, With periodic changes of style, and has been divided into four periods, the last of which, from 600 to 200 B C, was the period of Sutra literature. Sutra means a string, and stands for a literature of short sayings strung to gether, by teachers who studied brevity, and of whom it was said, in their own proverbial way, that an author rejoiceth in the economizmg of half a short vowel as much as in the birth of a son.
There were drawn from the four Vedas four upa-vedas. One was on Medicine from the rig-veda one on Music from the sama-veda one on Arms and Implements of War, from the yajur-veda and one on sixty-four Mechanical Arts, from the atharva-veda. The upa-vedas are now lost.
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