The Beauty of Princess Wencheng’s Mission

Sometimes when you look at history, it is like a mute riddle. Thousands of years apart, when the thin line of thinking through the remnants of the dynasty, across the text of the mountain range, see the words of the history, has been a glorious heyday, highly concentrated into pages and chapters.

Standing in the history books erected in the sky, looking far away from the Tang, overlooking the snowy region, a marriage equivalent to 100,000 soldiers, linking the Tang and Tufan cultural intersection of the pearl, in the official history of the record also left only a few lines. I think sigh, the huge pen of history in the face of the world’s multitudes, even if the pen is too fast to catch. So the reverie crossed the river of light, concentrating on the highlights of Wencheng’s entry into Tibet, and reflecting on the meaning of the mission in the staggering of time.

The peculiar marriage proposal of the King of Tubo

According to the New Book of Tang, in 634, Songtsen Gampo sent an envoy to the Tang Dynasty to pay tribute, and the Tang Dynasty sent Feng Deya back to visit Tubo. When Songtsen Gampo heard that Turkic and Toguk Hun princesses were married to Tang Dynasty princesses, he also sent an envoy with Feng Deya to the Tang Dynasty to propose marriage, but Taizong did not allow it. The ambassador returned to Tubo and lied that “the king of Togukhun had entered the dynasty and diverted from it, so the proposal of intermarriage was stopped.”

The bloodthirsty Songtsen Gampo was furious and attacked Toguk Hun with the same tribe as Yang. Tugok Hun could not resist and fled to Qinghai. The king of Tubo was very frank, in order to marry the princess of Tang, he led 200,000 troops in Songzhou, only surrounded the city and did not attack. And sent an envoy to send gold, silver, coins and silk to Chang’an, claiming that this is the bride price for marrying the princess, threatening: “If the great country does not marry the princess, immediately attack the mainland.” To deter the barbarians, Tang Taizong immediately sent troops to defeat Tubo, Songtsen Gampo admired the power of heaven and led the troops to retreat, and sent an envoy to thank the princess, and then asked for a marriage contract. In order to stabilize the frontier and enlighten the barbarians, Taizong agreed to the request of the Tubo for marriage this time.

King Tang gave Buddha statues to open the way for Tubo to spread Buddhism

In 641, King Taizong sent Li Daozong, the king of Jiangxia and Minister of Rites, to escort Princess Wencheng to Tibet. The dowry prepared by the king was not only generous, but also very special. In addition to the priceless golden statue of Shakyamuni Buddha at the age of 12, there were “treasures, gold and jade bookcases, 360 volumes of classics, various gold and jade ornaments”, medical treatises, medical instruments, divination classics, clear guides for identifying good and evil, construction and The king of the Tang dynasty, with his plan to make peace with the emperor, was able to get a lot of money from the emperor. The King of Tang sent a huge cultural mission for Tubo with the plan of peace.

Princess Wencheng entered Tibet with the statue of Buddha, and the king of Tang ordered the officials along the way to build roads and bridges, build boats and rafts, construct Buddhist halls, and open up passages. Despite the arduous journey, Wencheng and her entourage did not fail to spread the Chinese civilization, sowing the seeds of Han and Tang culture throughout the journey and leaving behind numerous victories and legends. When I think about it now, the statue of Buddha given by the King of Tang might also mean that the path of enlightenment was to be opened for the Tubo dynasty, leaving behind the spirit of orthodox Buddhism.

After arriving in Tubo, Wencheng assisted in the construction of monasteries, visited the people, and participated in the translation of scriptures, all of which were related to the promotion of Buddhism. When the princess saw many bad practices among the people of Tubo, she asked the king of Tubo to use Buddhism as the foundation of the country and to teach the people to turn away from good and evil. Under the influence of Wencheng, the King of Tubo “also gradually changed his suspicious nature”, “also a great pure faith than the previous generation, and widely promote the righteousness of the law. The king of the Tufan Dynasty was also influenced by Wencheng, who “gradually changed his suspicious and tyrannical nature” and “became more pure and faithful than his predecessors, and widely promoted the correct law. The two treasures that Wencheng brought with him on the orders of the Tang king, the Buddha statue and the sutras, were also regarded by the Tibetans as “a source of happiness”.

“To travel to all four directions without disgracing the king’s orders”

In the same period, there is another episode related to Princess Wencheng. In 648, Wang Xuanze was ordered by the King of Tang to lead a 30-member mission to the Tianzhu region, and to visit Princess Wencheng in the western region. On the way, he was ambushed by the new usurper king Aroshun and almost all the members of the delegation were killed. Wang Xuanze then went to Tubo to borrow troops, Songtsen Gampo sent more than 1,000 elite troops, and invited more than 7,000 Nepali cavalry. Commanded by Wang Xuanze, he defeated Zhong Tianzhu and exterminated Central India.

In the Tang Dynasty, where there were so many generals, Wang Xuanze defeated Central India with only a few thousand soldiers, creating a military miracle of “one man destroying a country”. History has its legendary and unique side, Wang Xuanze did not indulge in the pursuit of the evil army, and completed the diplomatic mission with courage and wisdom. This flurry and Wencheng’s entry into Tibet is similar, as messengers they have done “to send out four sides, not to insult the king’s orders”.

History is far away, Wencheng into Tibet is also fixed in the distant snowy region, she is like a high flying geese, to complete the king of the Tang to open up the road to spread Buddhism in Tubo, the courage to fly the western region to show the swan. Perhaps for Wencheng, the word “mission” ran through her life. “To go out to all directions, not to humiliate the king’s orders”, became the core of Wencheng’s adherence to Tibet, and only “mission”, so that she did not remember personal gains and losses and favor and disgrace. The beauty of this mission has also become a beautiful theme in Tibetan legends, which has been passed down to this day.

Looking back, even today it is still very relevant. The flashes of history leave a moral, perhaps in order to let people reflect from it, that perseverance in one’s mission can make one create unexpected miracles in the midst of hardship. In the star-studded Tang Dynasty, their achievements have been immortalized through thousands of years, although they are only a few strokes in the history.

Songtsen Gampo Introduction to Princess Wencheng

Songtsen Gampo is a hero in Tibetan history. He unified the Tibetan region and established the Tubo Dynasty. In the 14th year of the Tang Dynasty (640), he sent the great minister Lu Dongzan to Chang’an, offering 5,000 taels of gold and hundreds of treasures to the Tang Dynasty for marriage. Emperor Taizong allowed the marriage of his daughter, Princess Wencheng.

According to the “Tubo Dynasty Hereditary Mingjian” and other books, in 641, when Princess Wencheng entered Tibet, the Tang Emperor accompanied her with a generous dowry and a huge procession. Chinese musicians played the most popular music of the Tang Palace, Songtsen Gampo had a sense of hearing the sound of immortals, selected young boys and girls with intelligent qualifications to learn Chinese music, and gradually spread to the Tubo.

The scribes helped to compile the relevant documents of Tubo and recorded the important conversations between Songtsen Gampo and his ministers. Songtsen Gampo ordered his ministers and noblemen’s sons to study poetry and books to bring the Han culture back to Tubo.

The agricultural technicians sowed the grain seeds brought from the Central Plains on the Tibetan plateau and impressed the Tubo people with the top strong crops and amazing high yields. Agricultural technicians taught agricultural techniques and planting mulberry silkworms, mills, textiles, pottery, paper, wine and other crafts. The Tubo had homemade silk fabrics.

Songtsen Gampo built the Potala Palace for the virtuous and versatile Princess Wencheng. After two expansions in the seventeenth century, forming the current scale. A large number of murals are preserved, including the five difficulties of Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty, the wedding envoy of Tubo, Rudongzan, the difficulties and hardships encountered by Princess Wencheng when she entered Tibet, and the welcome she received when she arrived in Tibet. There is also the meditation room where Songtsen Gampo used to meditate. Princess Wencheng had designed and assisted in the construction of the Great and Small Zhao Monastery, for the Tibetan people to promote Buddhism to this day.