Author Topic: About Thonmo Sambhota & Tibetan Incense  (Read 7364 times)


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About Thonmo Sambhota & Tibetan Incense
« on: November 12, 2019, 07:52:44 AM »
Thonmo Sambhota, born in 618 AD was the creator of Tibetan Characters and a great translator. After unifying Tubo, Sontzen gampo was eager to set up local characters in Tibet. Therefore, in the late 7th century, sixteen brilliant young men were sent to India to learn its language and writing words. Due to the big difference in climate, fifteen of them died and only one person was survived. His name was Thonmo Sambhota. No fear of exotic beasts, he was immersed in the study and mastered the quintessence of Indian Buddhism and the Sanskrit.

With years of learning, Thonmo went back to Tibet and created the Tibetan alphabet combined with local language features and by some reference of Sanskrit. At the same time, he wrote eight books about Tibetan Characters and translated over 20 Sanskrit scriptures into Tibetan language, which became an important part of Tibetan culture and basic knowledge to learn in that time, even in today. In order to honor his contribution and express a highly respect, his statue was enshrined in Jakhang Temple, in the side of Sontzen gampo's statue.

From the local story, Thonmo Sambhota was the inventor of Tibetan Incense as well. Backing to hometown, he created a way to make raw material by putting wooden mill into water and taking full use of the hydraulic power to grind cedarwood into mud and this process is still used today.

Tibetan Incense as a way to express pious belief by believers is mainly used to worship Buddha, especially among Buddhist activities. Meanwhile it is also a kind of treatment in Tibetan medicine by adding some natural medical herbs and very efficient to kill bacterium, prevent colds, clear air and improve sleep, etc. Therefore, Tibetan Incense can be seen in most Tibetan houses for daily using as well. With a large range of usage, Tibetan Incense made from Nyemo Tunba is widely transported to most inland cities and nearby countries.

Nyemo Tunba – Birthplace of Tibetan Incense
Nyemo Tunba Scenic Area, a small village in Nyemo County is the birthplace of Tibetan Incense and famous for the hometown of Thonmi Sambhota, the creator of Tibetan Characters. Enjoying a superior geographic location by the side of 318 National Highway between Lhasa to Shigatse, Nyemo Tunba still keeps a natural way to make incense and this intact craftsmanship can trace back to 1300 years ago, which is listed into state-level intangible cultural heritage.