Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Songtsen Gampo (617-650) is the 33rd king of the Yarlung Dynasty of Tibet. Born at Gyama at Maldro to Namri Songsten , Songsten ascended his father's throne at ten years old, in which Tibet has witnessed much changes during his twenty-three year reign.
In addition to three Tibetan consorts, in whom he had a son with Lady Mongso Tricham , other consorts of Songsten Gampo include Bhrikuti Devi (Belsa), the daughter of the Nepalese King Anshuvarrnan, and the Chinese Tang Princess Wencheng (Gyasa), the daughter of emperor Emperor Taizong of Tang China, whom he married in 641 after numerous attempts since 634 to marry a Chinese princess.
Influenced by Buddhism from his Nepalese and Chinese wives, Songtsen Gampo subsequently sent seventeen Tibetan students to India to master its languages and through them Buddhism. The most famous of these, Thonmi Sambhota , mastered Sanskrit and returned to Tibet having being introduced to Buddhism, on the basis of the Brahmi and Gupta scripts that created the Tibetan alphabet and grammar. For the first time in the history of Tibet, several important Sanskrit Buddhist texts were translated into Tibetan by Thonmi Sambhota . He subsequently overran the Zhang Zhung kingdom of Tibet in 645.
Upon his death, Songsten Gampo had already unified Tibet. His consort, Princess Wencheng, who died thirty years later, was repeatedly praised by Tibetan scholars for her wisdom and introduction of Buddhism.
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