Movements - 28


WON-HYO was the noted monk who introduced Buddhism
to the Silla Dynasty in the year of 686 A.D.
Wonhyo (617 - 686) was one of the leading thinkers, writers and commentators of the Korean Buddhist

With his life spanning the end of the Three Kingdoms period and the beginning of the Unified Silla, Wonhyo
played a vital role in the reception and assimilation of the broad range of doctrinal Buddhist streams that
flowed into the Korean peninsula at the time. Wonhyo was most interested in, and affected by
Tathāgatagarbha, Yogācāra and Hwaom thought. However, in his extensive scholarly works, composed as
commentaries and essays, he embraced the whole spectrum of the Buddhist teachings which were
received in Korea, including such schools as Pure Land, Nirvana , Sanlun and Tiantai (Lotus Sūtra school).

He wrote commentaries on virtually all of the most influential Mahāyāna scriptures, altogether including
over eighty works in over two hundred fascicles. Among his most influential works were the commentaries
he wrote on the Awakening of Faith, Nirvana Sutra and Vajrasamādhi Sutra, along with his exposition on
the meaning of the two hindrances, the ijangui. These were treated with utmost respect by leading
Buddhist scholars in China and Japan, and served to help in placing the Awakening of Faith as the most
influential text in the Korean tradition.

Wonhyo spent the earlier part of his career as a monk. In 661 he and a close friend - Uisang (625–702,
founder of the Korean Hwaom school) - were traveling to China where they hoped to study Buddhism
further. Somewhere in the region of Baekje the pair were caught in a heavy downpour and forced to take
shelter in what they believed to be an earthen sanctuary. During the night Wonhyo was overcome with
thirst, and reaching out grasped what he perceived to be a gourd, and drinking from it was refreshed with a
draught of cool, refreshing water. Upon waking the next morning, however, the companions discovered
much to their amazement that their shelter was in fact an ancient tomb littered with human skulls, and the
vessel from which Wonhyo had drinken was in fact a human skull full of brackish water. Moved by the
experience of believing a gruesome site to be a comfortable haven, and skull of mildewy water a refreshing
drink, Wonhyo was astonished at the power of the human mind to transform reality. After this
"consciousness-only" enlightenment experience, he left the priesthood and turned to the spreading of the
Buddhadharma as a layman. Because of this aspect of his character, Wonhyo ended up becoming a
popular folk hero in Korea. He was a colleague and friend of the influential Silla Hwaom monk Uisang, and
an important result of their combined works was the establishment of Hwaeom as the dominant stream of
doctrinal thought on the Korean peninsula. Wonhyo's twenty-three extant works are currently in the
process of being translated into English as a joint project between Dongguk University and State
University of New York at Stony Brook.

Wonhyo had a son, Seol Chong, who is considered to be one of the great Confucian scholars of Silla.
Rare International Tae Kwon-Do (ITF) video produced with the
GENERAL CHOI on North Korea, you can see Grand Master Park Jung
Tae, Grand Master Choi Jung Wha and other masters of the ITF
performing tuls and explaining the movements of each tul.
Dan-Gun, Do-San, Won-Hyo and Yul-Gok