Genghis Khan unified the Mongolian tribes and founded the Great Mongolian Empire through his outstanding virtue, strategy and military skills. He was always on the move, and his military duties were pressing. Who did he leave in charge of this huge empire so that he could go on his expedition to Khorezm without distractions or worries?
As we all know, Genghis Khan’s four first sons, Juzi, Vogotai, Chaghatai and Tolay, were all brave and warlike generals. All of them followed their father in the first Mongol expedition to the west and made great achievements.
Shield of the Empire
Little is known about the daughters of Genghis Khan, but they were not weak. Among them, the third daughter, Arrhaibeiji, married into the Vanguard division, and Yelikotun married into the Kingdom of the Awe.
The third daughter, Arrhae, married into the Wanggu tribe, providing Mongolia with a strategic base to penetrate into the Chinese hinterland, while the second daughter, Yelikotun, married into the Kingdom of the Fearful Uyghurs, providing Mongolia with a firm grip on the Silk Road trade and bridging multiple civilizations. Her daughter, Tara Yijian, who married far away from the Uyirat tribe, was the weakest compared to her other sisters, but always maintained close ties with Mongolia, and under Mongolian influence, the Uyirats absorbed Mongolian culture, language and way of life, “giving the Mongols control of the trade routes directly to the Arctic Circle.”
Genghis Khan’s youngest daughter, whose name is not recorded in the history books, is known to have married Arslan Khan of Khararru. Arslan Khan went out with his army, and she stayed behind to take control of Kharru, giving the Mongols access to the Muslim south, the steppes in the west, and then to Russia and Europe.
These Mongolian princesses were like shields placed around Mongolia by Genghis Khan, solidly guarding Mongolia in the center.
Wanggu helped Mongolia to defeat the Neban
Among these princesses, Alhaibeiji is the most legendary. Her words and deeds had amazed the Taoist master Qiu Diji at that time.
The Wanggu tribe under the jurisdiction of Arrhae was located at the border between nomads and Han Chinese settlements. Because the Wanggu tribe had long been in contact with the Han Chinese and many civilizations along the Silk Road, this tribe had the ability to read and write traditions and build houses and towns at an early stage. The Wanggu tribe was also very skilled in weaving, using soft camel hair mixed with Chinese silk to make fine fabrics. During the Jin Dynasty, the Wanggu tribe, as a vassal of the Jin Empire, defended the Great Wall in the north for a long time against the Mongols.
In 1204, Temujin in front of the 10,000 troops and the Wanggu Ministry leader Arar Woods to form a “security answer”, that is, the righteous brothers. Under the guidance of Wanggu’s army, the Mongolian army defeated the Nai baran tribe. In order to honor Arar Woods, Temujin married his third daughter Arar Hai Beiji to Arar Woods’ son Bu Yan Xiban as his wife.
Before Ararhai married, Genghis Khan advised her that the best friend is her own wise heart, “You have many things to rely on, but the most reliable is yourself.” And she was repeatedly reminded to act with caution and care.
Throwing the milk of a horse to bless her daughter
When Alhaibeiji got on her horse and left, her mother, like all Mongolian mothers, stood in front of the tent and used a large wooden spoon, tsatsal, to scoop horse milk from the bucket and sprinkle it into the sky until her daughter’s back disappeared from her sight.
The Mongolian custom is to worship the sky, and the white color of the clothes and clothing is so simple that even the sacrificial vessels are plain. This is a sign that the Mongolian people are mindful of the ancient times, and that they are repaying the primordial gods who sheltered the essence of life with the ritual of worshipping the gods.
The pure white milk is used to pray for blessings. Whether it is day or night, white extends the path for her feet so that she will not get lost. It is easier to follow the white color to stay away from the temptation and darkness of sin. Therefore, some scholars believe that Mongolian mothers sprinkle horse milk into the sky to pray for their daughters and to remind her to act in a ritualistic manner and to stay away from the wrong paths and sins.
In this way, the Mongolian mother prays to the gods for protection so that her children can have access to the land, water and grass within their sight. Since ancient times, the milk ritual has been an ancient ritual that connects the Mongolians with the gods.
Domination of Wanggu and appeasement of the army
When Araghai married into the Wanggu tribe, her husband was away with Genghis Khan, so she became the highest authority over the Wanggu tribe. For Mongolia, Wanggu also became the gateway to the Central Plains hinterland.
As Genghis Khan was away on his expedition, Arrhae not only had to manage military affairs for her father, granting the generals official positions and authority to fight rebellions, but also had to lead troops and horses, tour the country and comfort the soldiers in order to settle the hearts of the soldiers and the people.
During the first western expedition of the Mongol army, Genghis Khan summoned the Taoist master Qiu Diji. In his “Letter to the Khan”, Qiu said to Genghis Khan, “I have been to the desert for a long time and have personally witnessed the Khan’s unification of Mongolia, the conquest of Xia and the destruction of Jin, and the invincibility of the iron horses.” Qiu Douji witnessed Genghis Khan’s unification of Mongolia and his invincible bravery in the desert.
Eloquent talk about the virtues of the pot lid
At a banquet, Qiu took out a Chinese pot and asked the generals which part of the pot was the most important. Some of the generals said that the spout, handle, and body were important, but Ararhai Beji said, “The lid is the most important.” Her next words shocked the generals.
She said, “When you think of us Mongols, although we now have the power to occupy everything like the body of a pot, to channel the flow at will like the spout, and to hold the overturning like the handle of a pot, it is imperative that we learn the virtue of the lid of a pot in order to take over the Middle Kingdom and build an empire!”
The virtues of the pot lid, according to Aradhai, include diligence at all times and vigilance at all times. When the pot is empty, open the lid and fill it with water; when the pot is full, rush to cover it so as not to spill it. A Han pot can hold the universe, yet the first thing to do is to be able to open the lid to be the beginning of holding yin and yang.
Her words were extremely shocking to Qiu, and at the same time, she was happy for Genghis Khan that what she said was exactly the motto for cultivating the body, ruling the country and leveling the world. So, at the request of Qiu, Genghis Khan crowned Arrhae as the “Princess of the Pot Gai”, in the hope that Mongolia would promote a new style and plan for the long term benefit of the country and the people.
Genghis Khan accepted his proposal and issued the “Oracle of Enthronement of Arrhae”, which enthroned Arrhae as “Princess of Pot Gai” and gave her the power of life and death when Genghis Khan was away on an expedition, so that she could exercise full authority over the country.