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Main gate of the Shaolin temple in Henan.

The dhyana master Buddhabhadra (Chinese: 跋陀; pinyin: Bátuó) was the first abbot of the Shaolin Monastery.[1] He hailed from Southern India.[2]

Former Worthies Gather at the Mount Shuang-feng Stūpa and Each Talks of the Dark Principle contains the following reference to him: "Dhyana Master Buddha says: "The extreme principle is wordless. The sagely mind is unimpeded."[3]

According to the Deng Feng County Recording, Bátuó came to China in 464 and preached Nikaya Buddhism for thirty years. Thirty-one years later, in 495, the Shaolin Monastery was built by the order of Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei for Batuo's preaching.[4]

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.[5]


  1. ^ a b Broughton 1999, p. 109.
  2. ^ Broughton 1999, pp. 54–55.
  3. ^ Broughton 1999, p. 108.
  4. ^ Shahar, Meir (2008). The Shaolin Monastery: History, Religion, and the Chinese Martial Arts. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-3110-3.
  5. ^ 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.