The Culture of Sky Road -- Exhibition of Tibetan History and Culture
February 27, 2018 - July 22, 2018 Time: 9:00—17:00 (closed on Mondays) Venue: Room B, F1


Part Four: Allegiances Through Marriage

The historical tale of the marriage between Songtsen Gampo and Princess Wencheng is well-known to many a household. Both the Tang-Tubo alliance and other connections forged through marriage officially initiated the harmonious relationship between Tibet and the inland. With increasingly closer connections through successive dynasties, the Tibetan people joined efforts to develop and build Tibet, thus making great contributions to the pluralistic integration of Chinese national community and the unification of a multi-ethnic country. 

1. Tang-Tibet Marriage 

In the 15th year of the Zhenguan reign during the Tang Dynasty (641 AD), Songtsen Gampo married the princess Wencheng. Then, in the 4th year of the Jinglong reign during the Tang Dynasty (710 AD), Tritsug Detsen married Princess Jincheng. The relationship between the Tang and Tibet was therefore formed by these marriages. The two princesses brought technical skills to Tubo, making great contributions to the empire's production and development, as well as the stabilization and peace of the national frontier.  

2. Sakya Pandita (The Yuan Dynasty)

In 1244, at Borjigin Kuoduan's invitation, Sakya Pandita, together with his nephews Iphags-pa and Phyagnardorje, held talks in Liangzhou (present-day Wuwei City, Gansu Province) and then preached Tibetan Buddhism in Mongolia. Later, Sakya succeeded in making all religious sects submit to the authority of Mongolia, which laid the foundation for Tibet paying allegiance to the Yuan government. In 1260, Kublai conferred on Iphags-pa first the title of State Preceptor and then the title of Royal Preceptor. The Yuan government established the Zongzhi Institute in 1264, appointing the Royal Preceptor to take charge of Buddhist and Tibetan local affairs. The Zongzhi Institute was later changed into the Xuanzheng Institute. Since the Yuan Dynasty, the central government began formally to take over management of Tibet. 

3. Conveyance to the Ming Dynasty

The Ming Government was granted jurisdiction of all religious sects of Tibetan Buddhism, thus forming the pattern of three Dharmarajas and five religious leaders. Each religious sect kept close contact with the Ming government through a stream of tributaries and rewards. 

4. Mongolia's Allegiance to the Qing Government

In the late Ming Dynasty, Tsongkhapa promoted religious reform and set up the Ge-luk-ba Order, which won the support of believers in Tibet. Supported by Heshuote, Mongolia, the growing Ge-luk-ba Order gradually consolidated its political and religious status. Following the strategy of holding Shamanism in high esteem to encourage Mongolia to acknowledge the allegiance to the Qing government (the Qing Dynasty), Emperor Shunzhi invited the fifth Dalai to make a pilgrimage to Beijing and titled him Dalai Lama in 1653. In 1713, Emperor Kangxi conferred the title of Penchen E'erdeni on Lobsang Yeshe. After that time, titling was carried out by the Qing government, whose direct rule over Tibet was reinforced by its association with the Ge-luk-ba Order. 

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