The word simply means circle in Sanskrit. Sanskrit is one of the oldest subdivisions of Indo-European languages of which our own (a blend of Germanic and Italic) is one as well. But my subject, is sanity, and, today, its symbol. More narrowly the mandala is a religious symbol of Hinduism and Buddhism, but you’ll find it everywhere, not least immediately underfoot. The photo shows the old, worn carpet in Brigitte’s study. The eternal conflicts of humanity are harmoniously balanced in the mandala and disappear in its center. In Christianity the cross is the symbol of the conflict, Jesus Christ its center and resolution. The International Red Cross emblem is also a mandala. The most interestingly suggestive symbol I found this morning is a Navaho sand-painting (one of many used in religious ceremonies) which is a kind of circle built of bodies, and it also features a cross in the center. I found it on Wikipeia here.