■■ In the Agamas literature of Hindu thought the ‘non-sound’ Brahman is referred to as the Naad-Brahman . At a more meta-physical level this is termed as Naad-bindu in the Shiva- sutras. These sutras or ‘condensed mantras’ were first revealed, in the late 8th century A.D., by Lord Shiva directly to Vasugupta on mount Mahadeva in the Kashmir Himalayas. Later expounded by his student Abhinavagupta, this philosophy came to be known as Kashmir Shaivism.
“Here bindu – ‘is a throbbing point of stress or a pulsation called spanda’ and Naad – ‘is the generic potency representing all undifferentiated sounds’”. The latter is represented by the Chandra or ‘half-moon’ adorning Shiva’s matted hair. Together they symbolize the anunasik or the ‘nasal-hum’. The anunasik is also the name of a class of letters in the last and fifth column of the table of mute-consonants in the Sanskrit alphabet. These letters are themselves five in number and are uttered through both the mouth and nose simultaneously. In the language this nasal sound when added to other consonants is indicated as a Chandra-bindu above the alphabet. This is the ‘mmm’ sound, at the end, as we pronounce ( ! ) or ‘aum’ – the universal mantra of yogic chanting.