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Main gate of the Shaolin temple in Henan.

Batuo (C. 跋陀) (fl. 464 - 495 CE), was the first abbot of Shaolin Monastery.[1] He hailed from Southern India, where he was known by the name Buddhabhadra.[2]

According to the Deng Feng County Recording, Bátuó came to China in 464 and taught Buddhism for thirty years. In his 31st year of teaching, in 495, the Shaolin Monastery was built by the order of Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei for Batuo's preaching.[3]

Batuo's disciples Sengchou[1] and Huiguang were both expert in the martial arts by the time they began their studies of religion with Batuo.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Broughton 1999, p. 109.
  2. Broughton 1999, pp. 54-55.
  3. Shahar, Meir (2008). The Shaolin Monastery: History, Religion, and the Chinese Martial Arts. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-3110-3. 
  4. Kelly, Jeffrey J. (April 1994). "Amazing Stories From the Shaolin Temple". Black Belt Magazine.  'Ba [Tuo] was enamored with the Chinese martial arts, and actually recruited individuals skilled in them.'


  • Broughton, Jeffrey L. (1999). The Bodhidharma Anthology: The Earliest Records of Zen. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21972-4. 
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