There is a Milky Way in the sky and a Milky Way on the ground. As the largest water system in Tibet, the the Yarlung Zangbo River is regarded as the “mother river” by Tibetan friends. This great river flowing in the sky originates between the the Himalayas and the Gangdise Mountains and runs across southern Tibet from west to east, covering 246000 square kilometers. To sum up, the the Yarlung Zangbo River is the mother of several important rivers in Tibet. The familiar Niyang River, Nianchu River and Lhasa River are all tributaries of the the Yarlung Zangbo River.
In fact, in ancient Tibetan, the name of the the Yarlung Zangbo River is exactly “Yangqiabu Zangbo”, which means “water flowing down from the highest peak”.
At the beginning, the the Yarlung Zangbo River did not flow alone. It had three sources: the north branch originated from the Gangdise Mountains, called Marong Zangbo; The middle branch, called Qiema Rongdong, is considered as the main source of the the Yarlung Zangbo River due to its large annual water volume; The southern branch originates from the the Himalayas and is called Kubi Zangbu. Three tributaries converge in Lizi, where she is called Maquan River. In Zadong, it is also called Dabra Tibetan, which means mahe in Tibetan; Or Ma Zang Zang Bu, which means mother river in Tibetan. The Lazi region is called Yangzhen Zangbu. To the west of Lazi, the the Yarlung Zangbo River is collectively called Dazhuokab, which means “water flowing from the mouth of good horses” in Tibetan.
Then why is it finally called the Yarlung Zangbo in the present world? Since the Tibetan name of Qushui is Yalu, and the river flowing to the south of the mountain is Yalong, this river is called Yalong Tibetan Cloth. However, in Qushui area, it is pronounced as Yalu, because the Tibetan language of “Lu” is exactly called “Long”, which means the river flowing through the valley plain from above Qushui, so the whole river is called the Yarlung Zangbo River in general.
The ancient culture along the Yarlung Zangbo River has a long history, and the Neolithic culture in its basin is represented by Linzhi and Motuo.
In the late Neolithic Age, many tribes were formed throughout Tibet. About the 3rd century BC, as the leader of the Yalong tribe, Nechi Zanpu first appeared in Tibetan history as Zanpu, and established the Tubo kingdom of tribal slavery. The the Yarlung Zangbo River is not only the cradle of the birth and development of Tibetan civilization, but also the witness of Sino Tibetan cultural exchanges. In the history of communication between Han and Tibet, the most memorable events are the monument of Princess Wencheng and the Tibetan, Princess Jincheng’s marriage to the west and the Tang and Tibetan alliance. They fully illustrate the flesh-and-blood relationship between the Han and Tibetan peoples and their cultures, which have different characteristics and influence each other.
To trace the origin of Tibetan civilization, we have to talk about Ali’s ancient Zhangxiong civilization. Maybe many people will wonder, what does the Yarlung Zangbo River, the main river basin in the south of Tibet, have to do with the ancient Zhangxiong civilization in the north of Tibet? In fact, after the the Yarlung Zangbo River flows out from the Jamayangzong Glacier at the northern foot of the Himalayas, a section of the river in Ali is also called the Maquan River, and the ancient Zhangxiong civilization was born on the bank of the Maquan River.
The ancient Zhangxiong dynasty once unified the 18 countries known as 180000 tribes, and established the ancient Zhangxiong kingdom, which was a powerful force in Central Asia. In the heyday of the Zhangxiong Dynasty, it had a strong military force, a large population and a vast territory. The prince of the Mu family of the Zhangxiong Kingdom, the Buddha Xinrao Miwo, created a complete nine-factor teaching method and doctrine, which is the ancient Zhangxiong Buddhism.
The religious system of the ancient Zhangxiong culture was spread through the Xinrao Miwo Buddha and the Buddha in different periods, and influenced the emergence of ancient Hinduism, Jainism and later Indian Buddhism. Zhangxiong civilization has deeply influenced the historical development of Tibetan civilization, including medicine, architecture, Buddhism, astronomy, philosophy and other important disciplines, all of which are the crystallization of the wisdom of Tibetan ancestors living in the snowy plateau. Opening the huge historical volume of ancient Zhangxiong, the Zhangxiong culture has come down in one continuous line and is endless. After thousands of years of accumulation, it bears the immortal spirit of the Tibetan nation and represents the “root” and “soul” of Tibet’s long history and culture.
The upper reaches of the the Yarlung Zangbo River, which nurtures countless civilizations in Tibet, the Maquan River, is like a wheel of history, carrying the source of Tibetan civilization to the road of history.