Padmasana – Seat of the Gods: Bali

Balinese temples contain many structures and one of the most important being the Padmasana. This is found in the Jeroan, or inner courtyard of the temple.


The padmasana is a tall sculptured stone tower upon which is the empty stone seat, or lotus throne, and is reserved for Sanghyang Widi Wasa. This is placed so that it faces away from the holiest mountain, Gunung Agung in the northeast corner of the temple. At the base of the column a representation of a Turtle, Bedawang, is usually found and according to mythology is the base upon which the world rests.

On top of this base are often found two carved serpents or naga, indicating animality. As well, there are representations such as mountains to indicate the physical world of man. The godly seat is placed well above these.

The throne is usually two metres above the ground so that it is above the heads of worshippers. In larger versions of the padmasana, there are steps leading up to the throne to enable people to make offerings.

The whole structure signifies the entire cosmos – from the demonic depths to the heavens.