Lhasa, capital of Tibet, got its name from its changes in ...

Lhasa, capital of Tibet, got its name from its changes in the history of Tibet. It is derived from “Re Sa” in Tubo Dynasty When 33 Tibetan King Songtsan Ganpu came to the throne and he began to pursued Buddhism rather than Bonism the local religion.

Songtsan Guanpu adopted lots of reforms. The inner reforms was to restrict the local Bonism leader’s power and got himself the big banana. Thus he could lead the whole kingdom to do things in accordance to his big ambition, without that he had to ask Bonism leader for permit like the king in ancient Rome had to abide by religion leader Pop. And later on he moved his capital from Yurlong Valley to Kyichu River Valley (Lhasa River Valley) and completely got out of Bonism Leader’s power range. Due to the fertile land of Lhasa River Valley the dynasty got stronger and stronger since the agriculture developed very fast, the horses and the other kinds of homebred animal were stronger than before. The third reason was that Lhasa served as his kingdom capital was safer than before by the enclosure of the mountains if he left a few military at home and got of Lhasa for fighting with other kingdoms because he wanted to get his kingdom bigger and bigger in the area. This was his strategy policy to the outer of his kingdom.

Since then he led his soldiers to go west and fought against Xiangxiong Kingdom which is now the area of Ngari, and he won the battle. Again he won in the fighting of the northern area (now it is the Nagchu area) named as Subi tribe union. Till now the Tubo Dynasty was strong enough to fight against any other kingdom around it.

The fast development of Tubo Dynasty in the area and power under Songtsan Ganpu’s sovereignty caused a big battle against Tang Dynasty. In this battle he weakened his kingdom’s power, but got the result of no victory or defeat through a peaceful agreement. However, he showed his strong power in and around his kingdom.

At the same time, he made Buddhism more widespread as he thought he owed his success to his preaching Buddhism. And he wanted to consolidate his power range. So he sent his foreign minster to Nepal (because Nepal was also the place of Buddhism popularly-spread area) to the west and asked for a marriage. During this diplomatic policy Nepal Princess Trizong came to Lhasa for the marriage, along with her she brought a statue of Buddha.

And after the battle between Tubo Dynasty and Tang Dynasty, Tang Dynasty sent Princess Wencheng to Tubo’s king for the marriage in order to calm down the 33king of Tubo Kingdom. Also when Princess Wencheng came to Lhasa, she brought a lot of such civilizations as architecture, arts, methods of cultivation, astronomy and medical science, etc. The most important was that she brought a Buddha statue which is now stably situated in the Jokhang Temple.

Princess Wencheng knew something about astronomy; she looked at the whole of Tibet as a devil and 108 Buddhism temples should be built to cover the devil in terms of Tibet good luck. So each princess from Tang Dynasty and Nepal wanted to built a temple facing to her homeland, and Jokhang Temple and Remoche Temple were built.

When Jokhang Temple was built for Princess Trizong, on the late of Jowa which was said by Princess Whencheng to the heart of the devil, there was a strange thing that the work at day time was completely ruined at night. Thus Princess Whencheng said according to her knowledge of fortune teller that the goats ought to be hired to carry the earth to fill in the lake and formed a solid ground. After the completion of the construction of Jokhang Temple, people named Lhasa as Re-Sa in memory of sheep’s achievement in the Jokhang Temple’s construction, since Re-Sa in Tibetan language means “goats earth”, or “goats land”.

As time went on and a few kings of Tubo Dynasty after Songtan Ganpu, Jokhang temple suffered a lot in the nature disaster, battle against the other kingdom of neighbors, even during 39 Tibetan King Langdama ruling period it once became a butcher lot because this king ban the religion of Buddhism and support Bonism.

When 806 AD, Tride Tsuzan came to throne, he asked for the second marriage to make peace again with Tang Dynasty. So the second Princess Jincheng came to the snowland, the high plateau. Not long after Princess Jincheng came to Lhasa, she moved the Buddha statue brought by Princess Wencheng from Remoche Temple to Jokhang Temple. And since that time and on, Jokhang Temple became the center of Lhasa and the center of Tibetan Buddhism. And since the Buddha was just like god from the heaven, and the god stood on the land of Jokhang Lhasa, the Tibetan 39 king named the place with god as Lha-sa. Lha as in Tibetan language means “god” “Sa”, the earth or the land.

From those above, one can see that Lhasa Tibet got its name related to Buddhism religion, and related to Jokhang Temple which the center of Buddhism in the world.