Bhrikuti

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Bhrikuti (Skt. Bhṛkutī; Tib. ལྷ་ཅིག་ཁྲི་བཙུན་, lha chik tritsün, Wyl. lha cig khri btsun) was the Nepalese princess who married Songtsen Gampo and played an important role in the construction of the Jokhang. She arrived in Lhasa in either 632 or 634.

Atisha says in the Ka khol ma that, one morning king Songtsen Gampo said to his ministers Thönmi Sambhota and Gartong Tsen, as they were walking into his room, “Give me some chang,” and then added, “Last night, I dreamed of the Western land of Nepal, of a beautiful princess named Brhikuti, and the city of Yabu Yagal[1].". The next day the two ministers met near O Thang lake with the chieftains of the Seven Cities. They had asked the chiefs to bring some food, and they each brought different parts which, together, constituted a complete animal. This was considered a very auspicious sign, and they decided to invite the princess. Thönmi Sambhota and Gartong Tsen then left for Nepal, together with a hundred horsemen carrying numerous gifts as well as gold. Songtsen Gampo also gave them three letters in case the Nepali King Amshuvarman refused to accede to his request.

When they arrived in Nepal they met with the king. Gartong Tsen offered the gifts and asked for the princess for the king of Tibet, while Thönmi Sambhota acted as translator. The king of Nepal flew into a terrible rage and told them, “You are insulting me greatly! I will only give my daughter to someone of my own rank and I am superior to the king of Tibet: I have the holy Dharma and supports of the Buddha's body, speech and mind from the time of Buddha Kashyapa. The Dharma has been well established here since king Kri Kri, who reigned at the time of the Buddha Shakyamuni. My riches are like the smoke of the eternal fire, plates are never empty of food, the sound of flour mills never ceases. In Tibet, the king of the hungry ghosts, doesn't have all this, and since there is no law, thieves reign and battles rage. I won't give him my daughter!”

Each time he refused the minister presented him with another letter, written in Nepali in gold on blue paper. At length, the king gave the princess, together with the statues of Jowo Mikyö Dorje (a representation of Buddha Akshobhya) and Maitreya, the texts Tog, Gra lnga [2], and the Sutra of the White Lotus, as well as several artists and seven elephants loaded with precious diamonds. The princess herself rode on an elephant, holding a sandalwood statue of Tara, and surrounded by her many servants. The king went in person to see her off, he went as far as Mangyul, on the border of Nepal and Tibet.

Notes

  1. Wyl. ya 'bu ya 'gal, is the old Tibetan name for Kathmandu.
  2. Kangyur mdo mang vol.Kha (Dergé Edition)