Forms of candrabindu in Sharada

Posted on Tue 31 August 2010 in unicode

The regular form ? of the CANDRABINDU in Sharada resembles an inverted form of Devanagari ?. Several Sharada manuscripts show an inverted form of CANDRABINDU, which co-occurs with the regular form, sometimes on the same line. In the following image, the inverted CANDRABINDU sign is used for writing OM, while the regular CANDRABINDU is used in other contexts:


The above specimen might lead one to think that OM is written with an inverted CANDRABINDU. Is it perhaps because it is considered a ‘special’ symbol?

In the following image both regular and inverted CANDRABINDU are used for writing OM (sorry, the beginning of the second line is smudged in the original):


Is there a semantic distinction between the regular and inverted forms of CANDRABINDU in Sharada? It does not seem so, especially when considering the use of both forms in writing OM, which has a fairly fixed meaning…

Do we just chalk it up to scribal idiosyncrasy?