Related dates of Blon-srong-btsan:
Blon-srong-btsan (?~667), Prime Minister of Tubo Kingdom, was born in Gar clan of Tabou aristocratic family. When Srongtsen Gampo was King of Tubo dynasty, Blon-Srong-btsan was in the King’s confidence after he succeeded Chiongpo Bonshichu. He was assigned to go to Tang central government to ask for connection by marriagei in 640 AD. The next year, he was titled Tang general, and took the responsibility to escort Princess Wencheng to Tubo. In 650 AD, Srongtsen Gampo died and his grandson inherited the throne in a very young age, Blon-srong-btsan arrogated all authority to himself, during his administration, he placated and conquered the borderlands, worked out a series of tax system and laws, make a distinction between “Gui” (warrior) and “Yong” (slave), inspected the household registration, all of those make a great effect to the development of social, economical and political institutions. Blon-srong-btsan was brave, steady and flexible, he was temperate in using of military, Tubo became a great power under his leading. He stayed in Tugu for several year before his death in 667 AD. His son (maybe grandson) Qinlin, Zanpo etc. kept in power after he died, he and his offspring have dominated the power of decision and military of Tubo Kingdom for almost 50 years.
Historical datas of Princess Wencheng:
In seventh Century, Blon-srong-btsan went to Chang’an—the capital of Tang Dynasty for King Songtsan Gambo’s marriage petition. According to the historical literatures, there were a large amount of other envoys there for the same purpose. Emperor Taizong set lots of difficult intelligence tests to them, for example, threading through a trumpet shell, knowing the way after drunk and so on. Finally, only Blon-srong-btsan passed all the tests and successfully had Princess Wencheng married to Songtsan Gambo, the Tibetan King. Emperor Taizong gave Princess Wencheng bounteous marriage portions and assigned General Li Dau-Chung leading guards escorted her to Tibet. There were many books, artisans and craftsmen followed her into Tibet, especially the image of Sakyamuni at the age of 12. This fresco reflects the pomp when Princess Wencheng entered to Tibet.
Princess Wencheng married the Tibetan King Songsten Gambo in 641AD by Emperor Taizong’s order. Princess Wencheng is sensible, erudite and versatile, she has a sincere commitment to Buddhism and was accomplished in divination. She took a statue of Sakyamuni and many Chinese books with her when she moved to Tibet. In the meanwhile, some advanced production techniques have introduced to Tibet, such as Chinese medicine, calendared predictions, spinning and weaving, paper making, milling and so on. It makes a great effect to the development of Tibetan economic and culture, especially the relationship between Tang and Tibet. This picture shows the scene of welcome ceremony to Princess Wencheng.
Good plan & quick judgment: Blon-srong-btsan escorted Princess to Tibet artfully
After Blon-srong-btsan passed the border of Tang and Tibet, he hastened the entourages running day and night, finally caught up with Princess Wencheng and the convoy on Mt. Jiufeng in Amdo after half a month.
Golden statue of sun and moon became stone, the princess came to Tibet confidently
From Chang’an to Mt. Jiufeng, it is only a smaller part of the distance to Lhasa, but it took the princess and her entourages more than 3 months to get there. With such high mountain, long roads, piercing wind and heavy snow, when could we arrive in Lhasa? The princess was worried a lot.
Btsan inquired about the princess’s situation from the entourages after he paid a formal visit to her. The maids said, the princess was determined to travel to Tibet at the beginning of this long journey because of the important task of protecting her country although she missed her hometown and the relatives very much, after passing the Loess Plateau, deserts and then the grasslands, it became more and more stagnant, the princess was very sad and was missing the relatives and the beautiful sceneries of the Central Plains a lot, that’s why the journey became so slow. The princess stopped her step and unwilling to move forward anymore when she arrived in Mt. Jiufeng.
After Blon-srong-btsan heard of these, he sympathize the princess deeply. She grew up and always lived in the central plains, it is an affluence country and lotus land, but she had to part with all those from now on, even if a lame and blind old woman would come into sorrow of separation, so did the princess who is graceful and pretty. However, this marriage is a great matter to the friendship of Hans and Tibetans for generations. The princess doesn’t want to move forward anymore just because she can’t drop the debt of gratitude that her parents and country gave, he must try his best to make the princess change her mind.
Blon-srong-btsan makes the decision and comes back to visit the princess. He asked:” my princess, you traveled so far to marry to Tibetan king for the long friendship of Hans and Tibetans, your parents must give you many precious gifts, don’t they?”
The princess answered:” they give me too many. Besides the craftsmen, the skills, the grain and the seeds, the most memorable one is a pair of statues of sun and moon made of the most valuable white gold and red gold from the treasury of my farther king. My farther wide to snatch up many skilled craftsmen to make them, he asked repeatedly before my leaving to set up a lucky pagoda which could symbolize the friendship of Tany and Tibet, then put the golden statues on the top to shine with the sun and moon.
After Blon-srong-btsan heard this, he reveres the Emperor Taizong more. He looked at the golden statues wrapped by the rawhide, comforted the princess for a while, then back to his tent. At that night, he asked some attendants to fake a pair of stone statues and get them gilding, then wrap by wet cowskin tightly and exchanged the golden statues stealthily.
A few days later, the princess Wencheng walked to the top of the Mt. Jiufeng, looked Chang’an into a distance and lingered for a long time. Blon-srong-btsan advised her:” my princess, maybe you could take your golden statues of sun and moon out for us to sacrifice the divine, acknowledge the Tany Emperor’s favor and cure your homesick.
The princess is glad to hear the advice, she asked them to move the box which contains the statues to her, she opened it but saw the cowskin huddle up on the statues and can’t be peeled off. Several craftsmen tried a long time to peel the whole skin off, but found that there were only a pair of stone statues, and the gold power affixed to the cowskin thickly.
The princess saw the stone statues carefully and puzzled over the matter some time. She checked the figure and the size of the stone ones, they are the same with the originals. She checked the box again, but there was no hurt. The princess is so disappointed that she doesn’t miss home so much.
Blon-srong-btsan seized the opportunity and said: “hey, to be a farther, Emperor Taizong is too little fond of his daughter, he can’t use the stone instead of gold even if he wants his daughter to marry to the Tibetan King.
The princess, torn with indignation and insult, broke the stone statues at the foot of Mt. Jiufeng, and steeled herself immediately to continue her journey to the west.
Enduring the humiliation, Blon-srong-btsan helped the king and the princess clear away the misunderstanding
Cross Qinghai and the black river, the princess was about to get to Lhasa, the Tibetan king Songtsan Gambo asked minister Tsedan Lhunpo to welcome the princess first.
Tsedan Lhunpo has long had it in his mind to have his daughter married to Songtsan Gambo, in this way he is with evidently a great and dismal purpose in his heart. He told the princess:” my princess, my lord is without a nose. Don’t you grieve that you leave your country and travel for such a far distance here to marry him?” The princess Wencheng suffered much although she said nothing.
Tsedan Lhunpo sent a letter to Songtsan Gambo in the meantime and said:” My lord, the princess is really pretty, even the peacock dare not display its feathers after seeing her, but unexpected, she smells really funk, it is too sick to bear…” Songtsan Gambo is too angry to Blon-srong-btsan after he read this letter.
Soon, the princess Wencheng arrived in Tibet, the Tibetan king led the Royals and ministers to welcome the princess and pick her up to the western palace. When the two meet each other, one took hold of his nose to avoid the smell, the other lower her head because she is too sad to accept that he had no nose as true. At this moment, Blon-srong-btsan came to visit the Tibetan king excitedly, dished out his compliments to the beauty, brightness and ability of the princess. But the king became more and more unhappy, he interrupted him and declared:” North Gumxiong Valley in Tsedang area has beautiful sceneries, there is a huge stone cave, please let the princess move to North Gumxiong, the wedding ceremony will be postponed after we settle the lucky date.”
Then he said to Blon-srong-btsan:” you are much too hard these days, please have a rest and read some scriptures, then recite to me.” He left in haste after these words. Blon-srong-btsan thought the whole thing thoroughfully, the matter seemed suspicious to him. He knew that the king must hear some slanders from Tsedan Lhunpo and there must be misunderstanding. He believed that the wise Tibet king must expose the rumor soon, then he came back home and immured himself for reading the scriptures.
And after the princess moved to North Gumxiong, she was very sad and often cried behind others’ backs. The tears drop into the spring, and the spring flow to the foot of the mountain, then it became a limpid and bright lake. Sometimes, she walked to the hill alone and song forward the direction of Lhasa. The melodious and expressive singing stepped on the spray of the river, floated to far far away with the wings of the clouds. She song too many times, her figure stamped on the rock, as the story goes, it is still there till today.
Time goes by, Blon-srong-btsan finally found out why the king is so angry, he did never think about his grievance, but was very disaffected to what the princess suffered. In the meantime, he heard that the princess made many good things for the people in North Gumxiong, the people like this princess who comes from a far distance cordially. He is very happy for all these, and he thought, if the king comes to the North Gumxiong and sees the changes in person, the misunderstandings must be gone. Then he wrote a letter to the Tibetan king and suggest the king to have a look at the princess, the king agreed, because he was suspicious of Tsedan Lhunpo’s words and deeds. Then he came to the North Gumxiong. He heard the singing of the princess afar, it is too affecting, beautiful and philosophically, Songtsan Gambo was so excited that he huge the princess tightly.
The princess looked at the Tibetan king, he has a good straight nose, bright-eyed and good features, strong and masculine, she happily said:” I heard my lord is without a nose, so it is false.”
Songtsan Gambo is very happy, too:” I heard that the princess is smelly…Hum, it must be Tsedan Lhunpo who played the dirty trick on us.” Now Songtsan Gambo knew why Blon-srong-btsan sent him the letter and how he care about him, the princess and the country. Then, Songtsan picked the princess up to Lhasa, awarded Blon-srong-btsan according to his contributions, on the other side, punished artful and designing Tsedan Lhunpo. The wedding ceremony was celebrated soon. At that time, Blon-srong-btsan took the real statues of Sun and Moon made of gold to the princess and told her the real reason. The princess didn’t punish him but comment him, and told the whole story to the king. Songtsan Gambo asked to set up the lucky pagoda according to Emperor Taizong’s advice immediately, then put the gold Sun and Moon on the top of it. From that time, the gold Sun and Moon shined with the sun and moon in the sky, it becomes the symbol of the friendship of Hans and Tibetans.