Vedic hymns are chanted as part of sacred ceremonies in India. The values they embody are eternal. They are as relevant today as they were thousands of years ago when they came into being. Vedic philosophies can help us cope successfully with the trials and pressures of modern life and serve as an antidote to despair. The orthodox method of learning them is from a qualified teacher. however, just listening to them can be uplifting to the soul. It is believed that they can help ward off negative thoughts, lead to atonement and deliver purity of mind, resulting in clarity of thought and success.
The oral tradition of the Vedas consists of several pathas, "recitations" or ways of chanting the Vedic mantras. Such traditions of Vedic chant are often considered the oldest unbroken oral tradition in existence, the fixation of the Vedic texts (samhitas) as preserved dating to roughly the time of Homer (early Iron Age).