Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Princess that transform Tibet - Part 2

Princess Wen Chang - Part 2

Princess Wen Chang and Buddhism in Tibet
Princess Wencheng was a devoted Buddhist. King Songtsan Gambo was eventually converted into Buddhism by her. Together with his first wife, Bhrikuti Devi they established and spread Buddhism around Tibet.

Before Princess Wencheng arrived, Buddhism was not common in Tibet. However after Princess Wencheng came into Tibet, Buddhism flourished in Tibet and since then every Tibetan have embraced Buddhism.

Changes and Reformations
To please and comprise Princess Wencheng, King Songtsan Gambo did many things. The Jokhang Temple, Jokhang Monastery or Tsuklakang was built to celebrate his marriage with Princess Wencheng. The Potala Palace and the city of Lhasa were also built for her sake. As Princess Wencheng was uncomfortable with the Tibetans' custom of painting their faces red, King Songtsan Gambo put a stop to this practice for good. The Changzhug monastery in Nêdong is also connected with Princess Wencheng, as in one of its chapels, there is a tangka embroidered by Princess Wencheng. Through Princess Wencheng, King Songtsan Gambo learnt and imitated much of Chinese governing. He also sent children of his empire into the China schools to learn classics and invited learned scholars from China to compose official reports for him to the Emperor.

Importance of the Marriage
Ever since being married into Tibet, Princess Wencheng devoted herself into loving the people of Tibet. Princess Wencheng was thus perceived as a goddess to the people of Tibet. Together with King Songtsan Gambo's Nepalese Wife, Bhrikuti Devi, they were viewed and believed to be the incarnation of Goddess of Compassion which is the female aspect of Chenrezig known as Tara (Tibetan: Drolma) Dolma, or Drolma (Sanskrit Tara). King Songtsan Gambo's wives were being worshiped under the name of Dol-kar of the white Dolma for Princess Wencheng and Dol-Jang or green Dolma for the Nepalese princess. The latter is prayed to by women for fertility.

Much of the Chinese ethnic culture and influences brought into Tibet by Princess Wencheng are still deeply rooted into the Tibetan culture as of today. Princess Wencheng is still a very iconic figure to people of Tibet even till today.

Impact of Princess Wencheng
The relationships between Princess Wencheng and King Songtsan Gambo have been translated into some local tales and folklore which played important roles to the Tibetans. Years later after the death of Princess Wencheng, another Tang Princess by the name of Jincheng was married into Tibet. She had a temple of Princess Wencheng built to commemorate her. This Temple of Princess Wencheng stands today as a symbol of friendship and exchange between the Han and Tibetan ethnic groups. The temple of Princess Wencheng is one of the most famous and a must see place in Tibet. It is located in Kham, 20km south of Jyekundo.


Antique Buddhas May 8, 2015 at 5:45 AM  

Both Princess Bhrikuti from Nepal and Princess Wen Chang from China were devout Buddhist and both were considered as Yellow Tara and White Tara respectively.
But from what I have heard Jokhang temple was the result of Princess Bhrikuti and King Sonstan Gambo.

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