Swastika is a Sanskrit word for a symbol in the form of a cross with its four ends bent at an angle of 90 degrees. Although often associated with Nazism today, the swastika is a very old symbol and was used in ancient Mesopotamia, Pre-Colombian America, India and China. It was probably originally meant to be a symbol of the sun. In Chinese art the Buddha is often represented with a swastika in the centre of his chest. This was an iconographic way of depicting the idea that the Buddha had a heart of radiance and light.