Tantric Buddhism can be traced back to groups of wandering yogis called Mahasiddhas (great adepts). According to Reynolds (2007), the mahasiddhas date to the medieval period in the North India (3–13 cen. CE) and used methods that were radically different than those used in Buddhist monasteries, including living in forests and caves and practicing meditation in charnel grounds similar to those practiced by Shaiva Kapalika ascetics. These yogic circles came together in tantric feasts (ganachakra) often in sacred sites (pitha) and places (ksetra) which included dancing, singing, sex rites and the ingestion of taboo substances like alcohol, urine, meat, etc. At least two of the Mahasiddhas cited in the Buddhist literature are comparable with the Shaiva Nath saints (Gorakshanath and Matsyendranath) who practiced Hatha Yoga.
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