Evidence gleaned from prefaces to translations of scriptures, the content of commentaries and the breadth of his influence, suggests that Wonch'Uk

was one of the most meticulous, erudite, historically-minded and linguistically capable of all East Asian monks. An assistant to and critic of the famous Chinese pilgrim to India, Xuanzang (600-664), Wonch'uk's life has been overshadowed by that of the great pilgrim and translator. A reason for this relative lack of appreciation of his life is the negative representation of Wonch'uk in the standard collection of hagiographies of Tang dynasty monks, the Song Gaoseng zhuan - The Lives of Eminent Monks (compiled in the) Song Dynasty - by Zanning. Another cause of this neglect was Wonch'uk's criticism of the theories of Dharmapala (530-561) whose system of Buddhist thought was championed as normative by Xuanzang and his heir Dasheng Ji (632-682), who founded the Faxiang or Ci'en School which was generally accepted as the orthodox form of Vijiianavada because of the authority of Xuanzang.