The word Veda means knowledge. There are four Vedas dating from the earliest period of known Indian scriptures; the Rig Veda, a collection of praises in the form of hymns; the Sama Veda, also a collection of hymns; the Yajur Veda, collection of sacrificial formulas; and the Atharva Veda, a collection of charms and magic formulas. The texts were developed over a long period, possibly beginning before the Aryans arrived in India (B. C. 1700.1200). The texts were passed down orally, being handed on from one generation of priests to another, syllable perfect in intonation and rhythm, from memory and by rote. An error in recital led to punishment and penances; in effect, to hear a Vedic passage today is to hear the oral equivalent of a tape recording over three thousand years old. It was forbidden to write (town the text, but about the 14th century A.D. some parts of the Vedas were transcribed but the entire text is still a guarded province of scholarship.