Episode 2.5 – Songtsen the Wise

(Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons. Picture of the upper story of the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, purportedly constructed by the Nepalese princess Bhrikuti Devi, wife of the Emperor Songtsen Gampo)

In which we follow Songtsen through his later reign. Famed for introducing Buddhism to Tibet, the process of bringing the Dharma to the plateau was actually carried out by the Nepalese and Chinese princesses more than the Tsenpo himself. 

But Songtsen did not earn his nickname “Songtsen Gampo” – meaning Songtsen the “Wise” solely on account of his Buddhist bona fides. The first Emperor is also credited for developing the Tibetan script and enacting administrative reforms in order to put Tibet on firmer footing. 

But in the end, Songtsen – who was born in 617 according to most accounts – would not live long enough to see his projects come to fruition. In what would be a harbinger of things to come, the young Tsenpo would die at the age of 32, leaving the reigns of government in the hands of the regent for his grandson. 

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