bindu

(‘dot’ or ‘point’)

According to the Śākta-tantras, scriptures of the cult of the Divine Mother, the ultimate Reality is one, a transcendental Absolute. It is immutable and ineffable. It is pictured as prakāśa, supreme effulgence. Desiring to become many, this Absolute starts reflecting on itself. This deliberation is technically designated as ‘vimarśa’. This vimarśa creates a throb or stir, spanda, which develops as vibration or nāda, and gets concentrated to a point or bindu. This bindu, like a dicotyledonous seed, contains the Śiva-Śakti principle as one closely knit unit. It then gradually evolves into this universe.

Anusvāra, the dot placed above the letters of the Sanskrit alphabets, indicating the nasal sound, is also called ‘bindu’. It is an invariable part of the bījamantras and is said to impart an additional meaning of dispelling sorrow.

In the works on yoga, bindu stands for the ājñācakra, the psychic centre between the eyebrows.

See also ĀJÑĀCAKRA and NĀDA.