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Nyatri Tsenpo – First King of Tibet

Nyatri Tsenpo, also known as the “King on Shoulder”, was a Tibet king who is considered the legendary forefather of the “Yarlung dynasty”. His sovereignty is believed to have commenced in 127 BC and he is regarded as the first ruler of the kingdom in Tibetan historical records. According to the Dunhuang chronicles, he descended from paradise onto the sacred Yarlha Shampo mountain. As a result of his unique physical characteristics, with webbed hands and eyelids that closed from the bottom instead of the top, he was revered as a deity by the locals who then crowned him as their king.

As per Tibetan legend, the initial Tibetan Palace structure, Yungbulakang Palace, was constructed for the monarch. The commencement of his reign signifies the beginning of the Tibetan calendar – Losar. According to beliefs, the primary rulers were imperishable and would be elevated to the heavens via the rope that had initially lowered them to the ground.

Historical Record of Nyatri Tsenpo

The “Tubo Historical Documents of Dunhuang Version” states that “Seven individuals descended from the heavenly realm, including the sons of the heavenly father, six monarchs. Chi Dunzhi’s son is known as Nyatri Tsenpo. The Long waited Lord arrived at Yalong, while the son of the God of Heaven became the ruler of the world before returning to the Heavenly Palace, witnessed by the people.”

Dunhuang Historical Records

During the Tubo period, there existed a renowned alliance with the Tang Dynasty, famously known as the “Wonshang Alliance” in historical records. A commemorative stele, called the “Tang-Tibet Peace Monument,” was erected during the ceremony and remains preserved at the Jokhang Temple square.

The inscription on the stele reads as follows:

"Tsenpo, the divine leader, emerged from the union of heaven and earth, and became the great tribe's chief. Amidst towering snow-capped mountains, where rivers originate, lies a pristine land, ruled by powerful gods and destined for everlasting prosperity."

Several similar stone carvings, with even more explicit engravings, are still preserved in Tibet. The “Shey Lakhang Carved Stone,” for instance, reads, “…(Nyatri Tsenpu), lord of the world, descended to earth, and later returned to his heavenly abode.” Therefore, Tibetan Tsenpo firmly believes, “Our forefathers were divine beings who descended to earth.” Not only did the Tsenpo family firmly hold this belief, but the Bon religious leaders who supported Tsenpo at the time also swore, “He fell from the sky, and we discovered it.”

In Tibet, where such significant occurrences transpired, “There must be a myth!” According to legend, Nyatri Tsenpo fell from the sky and was discovered instantly upon landing. The Twelve Wise individuals observed that Nyatri Tsenpo was of towering height and had a peculiar countenance. This individual seems destined for greatness and will appear on earth as a divine entity. He shall become the ruler.

As per the Tibetan “Chronicles of Tubo”: “(Nyatri Tsenpo) possesses an unusual feature where the lower eyelid overlaps the upper eyelid, the eyebrows resemble the colour of emeralds, the teeth have a round shape akin to shells, and there are membranes connecting the fingers.”

“Historical Collection of Han and Tibetans” contains: ” The son of Nyatri Tsenpo is Mutri Tsanpu, and the subsequent descendants are Dingtri Tsanpu, Suotri Tsanpu, Mertri Tsanpu, Daktri Tsanpu, and Sabtri Tsanpu. These seven Tsanpu are Collectively recognized as the “Seven Heavenly Throne Kings”. The above-noted kings have luminous sky ropes. When the son is capable of tripping a horse, the daddy makes use of the luminous sky rope to go back to the sky and disappears like a rainbow, leaving no stays withinside the world. “

Therefore, there may be no cemetery for the seven heavenly throne kings on Earth. The tomb of the Tibetan king in Qiongjie County, Shannan commenced from the 8th generation Drigung Tsanpu.

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