The Legend of an Enlightened Free Spirit

The legendary Chinese Princess Wencheng Gongzhu of the early Tang Dynasty devoted her life to the well-being of the Tibetan people. As her legend lives on, we seek to embody her spirit with patriotic pride by naming our foundation after the Princess. She is considered an emanation of the Liberating Goddess, Tara.

Princess Wencheng’s story is one of both personal sacrifice and compassion. A niece of China’s famous Emperor Tang Taizong, she married the Tibetan King Songtsan Gampo as part of a peace treaty. The marriage-of-state heralded a period of unprecedented cordiality between the neighboring regions. It was a remarkable era, falling between periods of harsh feudalism and civil war.

Wencheng Gongzhu introduced Buddhist practice to Tibet, as well as cultural and technological advancements of the Tang Dynasty, which included manuals on medicine, textiles, agriculture, architecture, machinery, papermaking, pottery, silk making, and brewing. Historians regard the Tang Dynasty as a high point in Chinese civilization.

Princess Wencheng has come to be immortalized for her remarkable contributions to Tibet. Her memory is honored at Lhasa’s famous Jokang Temple. Changzhug Monastery in Nêdong, close to China’s border with India, preserves a Thangka embroidered by the Princess.

History shows that King Songtsan Gampo was a cultural hero and a successful Dharma king. Princess Wencheng has been portrayed as a compassionate Bodhisattva and eulogized in many poems and novels.