Buddhism or Buddha-dharma is religion-philosophical teaching founded by Buddha Shakyamuni in ancient India around the VI century BC.

Adherents of Buddhism call themselves bauddhas. It is generally believed that Buddhism arose in North-Eastern India among shramans. The foundational dogma of teaching is the idea of changeability and impermanence of phenomenal existence. An ultimate goal is achieving nirvana or enlightenment. There are several well-known characteristics for almost all the directions and schools of buddhism considered to be the doctrine of interdependent origin (pretitya samutpada) and teaching of karma, acknowledgement of rebirth (samsara) and also rejection of a soul as selfness (anatma). Buddha himself formulated the basic principles in the form of “Four Noble Truths”.

Buddhists hold to the Median (Eightfold) path, which postulates the avoidance of the extremes of asceticism and worldly pleasures. The stages of the path are the accumulation of wisdom (prajna), the observance of vows (shila) and methods of concentration.

A characteristic feature is the openness of the Buddha's teaching to all people, regardless of origin (caste or social status), nationality, and gender. A Buddhist can be considered one who takes refuge in the three jewels (triratna): Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

The buddhist directions are conventionally divided into Three chariots:

  • Hinayana ("Small Chariot")
  • Mahayana ("Great Chariot")
  • Vajrayana ("Diamond Chariot")

At a certain period of history, there was a close connection of the Nathas with Buddhism, rooted in Buddhist Siddhacharyas Tradition. It is known that there was an exchange of experience and knowledge between mystics of different teachings, before the Buddha's teaching disappeared from India. Thus, according to the famous Buddhist historian Taranatha, someone called Ramanavajra or Anangavajra became a disciple of Luipada (Matsyendranath) and became known as Gorakshanath. Many texts of Nath Tradition define Gorakshanath as Shunya-rupa – a form of transcendental emptiness, and also give epithet Shunya-putra – the son of emptiness. The founder of the Heruka Chakrasamvara tantric system (one of the "mother tantras'' of Vajrayana) is considered to be Luipa (Luipada), who is revered in Bengal, directly correlating him with Matsyendranath. In Nepal, Matsyendranath is identified with the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, and the latter is sometimes identified with Lokanath (Lokeshvara). Buddhists themselves have a version that Gorakshanath was originally a Buddhist, since his teaching has a close connection with Vajrayana (and his name is mentioned in the list of 84 Mahasiddhas). At the same time, among the Buddhist Siddhas of Vajrayana, one can find many teachers who were nathas. For example, the list of 84 mahasiddhas mentions the names of great naths: Minapa, Virupa (Virupakshanath), Chaurangipa (Chauranginath), Kanhapa, Nagarjunanath (Naganath,) Bhusuku, Jalandharanath, Luipa, Kapalapa, which are especially revered in the Nath Sampradaya.