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About Acharya Raghu

Acharya Babu T. Raghu, founder of Zen monastery in Bangalore, is an accomplished Martial artist and Hatha Yogi. His interest in the art budded at an early age – when he was 17 years old. He was a part of one of the first contingents sent from India to South Korea for martial arts training. He was trained in Tae-Kwon-Do in the renowned National Police College in Seoul.

In the 1980’s, he was a reigning national champion and he represented the country in the world Tae-Kwon-Do championships. He founded the Sailum Martial arts academy of India that has trained thousands of students across the country. A Himalayan yogi, he is one of the few people to have performed esoteric Hatha Yogic Kriyas like Tsumo and Lung-gom at altitudes of over 18,000 feet. As a psychologist, he is deeply involved in the study of the bio-psychological effects of meditation practices.

Around 1995, his interest shifted from practicing Martial arts purely as a sport to viewing it as an art – a skill that needed to be honed and perfected. This pursuit of perfection led him into the research of the history of Shaolin Kung-Fu and Hatha Yoga. A qualified historian and archaeologist, he is researching different subjects like the Indian character of Zen, origins of Shaolin Kung-Fa, and the life of Nagarjuna. After over 20 years of thorough study, he is now considered as one of the leading experts in the subjects. Equipped with a Masters degree in both History and Psychology, he holds the distinction of being possibly the only person to treat the subject as a historian and archaeologist, a philosopher and psychologist, a martial artist, and a Yogi. Acharya Raghu has extensively travelled the country and given seminars on topics such as Zen Buddhism, mind over matter, Hatha Yoga and physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. While all of these skills and arts are disconnected today, they have their roots in a common ‘mother art’ that was created over 1500 years ago. It is this original art that he has been striving to revive and rediscover for over 2 decades now.


As part of his path-breaking research work with respect to the monk Bodhidharma, believed to be the founder of Zen and Shaolin Kung-Fu, he travelled the regions of Leh-Ladakh and China. In 2015, on a visit to China for his research, he became one of the only Indian citizens to be conferred a degree in Kung-Fa, after being trained there. He visited several Chinese Zen monasteries and presented his talk on Zen doctrine to the Zen communities in China. His pioneering work is now published by MLBD (Motilal Banarasidass) under the title ‘Bodhidharma Retold - A Journey from Sailum to Shaolin’.

An avid mountaineer trained at ABVIMAS, Acharya Raghu has led over 25 Major Himalayan Expeditions. He is also a certified paramotor and microlight pilot from FAI (Thailand), and qualified advance scuba diver from PADI (Australia).  A wildlife and nature enthusiast, he has led hundreds of Wildlife treks, awareness camps and rallies across India.

*The title 'Acharya' refers to the 4 decades of Hatha Yoga and Martial Arts training that Acharya Raghu has imparted as a teacher., and is not related to academics

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