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Last Updated: Monday, 8 December, 2003, 12:48 GMT
Tibetan chant CD's Grammy hope
By Baldev Chauhan
BBC correspondent in Himachal Pradesh

Tibetan chants CD
These are sacred chants, not commercial songs, the monks say
To artists like Beyonce, Eminem and Black Eyed Peas can now be added the name, the Monks of Sherab Ling Monastery.

The monks' CD of Tibetan chants, recorded at their monastery in the Indian Himalayas, has been nominated for a Grammy award, the musical equivalent of an Oscar.

The CD, Sacred Tibetan Chant: The Monks of Sherab Ling Monastery, will contest the best traditional world music category.

The secretary of head monk Tai Situ Rinpoche said the monastery leader was excited about the news.

The CD, which was released in January, features senior chanting masters Kalzang Yeshe, Norbu Gyaltsen and Tinley Gyurme and six other monks.

The recording was made at the monastery and was aided by one of its centres in New Zealand.

LA ceremony

"The compact disc contains sacred Tibetan chants, meditation prayers and other rituals observed at the beginning and end of the day at the Sherab Ling monastery," Tai Situ Rinpoche's aide told the BBC.

Some of the sacred chants date back to the 7th century when they originated in monasteries and were brought to India by devotees.

"Please remember these are sacred and religious chants, not commercial songs," the secretary said.

The 46th Grammy awards ceremony will be held on 8 February in Los Angeles.

Sherab Ling is the seat of Tai Situ Rinpoche, a renowned Buddhist monk of the Karma Kagyu sect.

He was responsible for the selection of the sect's spiritual leader, the 17th Karmapa, who fled Tibet three years ago.

The monastery is about 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Dharamsala, which has been the seat of the Tibetan government in exile for over four decades.

The Dalai Lama and thousands of his followers fled Tibet in 1959 after a failed uprising against the Chinese.

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