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An Account of Muni Tsenpo and Mutik Tsenpo

Muni Tsenpo ruled for one year and seven months.[1] [During his reign], he established the basis for offerings at Samye Monastery and equalized [the wealth of] the rich and the poor of Tibet on three different occasions.[2] [In the end], his mother administered poison, resulting in his death.

During the reign of his younger brother, Jingyön Mutik Tsenpo,[3] a Chinese-style fort with nine towers was constructed at the eastern gate of glorious Samye. Having built this, in addition to the Karchung Dorje Ying maṇḍala,[4] Mutik Tsenpo worshiped profusely at all the temples that his ancestors had erected. He led a lifestyle like that of a Dharma-protecting king while maintaining the dual system of religion and politics more effectively than before. Moreover, the king meditated, visualizing the master seated above his head, and clearly envisioned his own body as the meditational deity while he practiced the recitations of vajra speech.

Furthermore, having founded the teachings of the monastic college and retreat centers, Mutik Tsenpo established the Dharma like the all-pervading sun. Once again, the great vajra master, Padmasambhava, and the great translator, Vairocana, among others, spread the teaching of the resultant, secret-mantra Vajrayāna and newly rendered the previously untranslated sūtras.

Concerning the magnitude of his power as king, he brought approximately two-thirds of the world under his rule. The kings of India, China, Turkestan, and Mongolia, among others, had to obey the edicts of the Tibetan king. According to the resources of each of these lands, they were to provide various types of wealth, including fine silk brocades and exceptional foodstuffs, within a set time frame.

He had a son named Dingtri, who was enthroned at the age of eleven upon his father's death.[5] Together with his first and second wife, they had five princesses in all. He established the saṃgha and rendered numerous services to the temples built by his ancestors. He ruled until he died at the age of fifty-five.




[1] mu ni/ne btsan po, BDRC P2MS13215

[2] bsam yas dgon pa, BDRC G287

[3] mjing yon mu tig btsan po, BDRC P2MS13217

[4] Karchung Vajradhātu Maṇḍala (skar chung rdo rje'i dbyings)

[5] lding khri

Photo Credit: Himalayan Art Resources

Published: March 2022


drag shos phun tshogs dbang 'dus. “mu ni btsan po dang mjing yon mu tig btsan poʼi lo rgyus.” In 'brug chos srid kyi rabs, 31–32. thim phug: ʼbrug rgyal yongs dpe mdzod, 2007. BDRC MW1KG1680


Giving glimpses of the Tibetan imperial period, this concise text encapsulates historical highlights of the kings—Muné Tsenpo and Mutik Tsenpo. Sons of Tri Songdetsun, the period and accounts of these two rulers are nothing but muddled, and the historical veracity ought to be taken with a grain of salt. 


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8th Century

9th Century




An Account of Muni Tsenpo and Mutik Tsenpo

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