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Home » Religion

The Throne of God  

by on Wednesday, 2 May 2007No Comment | 2,507 views

Padmasana, the seat of God is an obligatory shrine that must be established in every Balinese Hinduism temple. No temple is considered to be complete without this shrine. The word Padmasana is derived fro the word “padma” means “lotus” and “sana” means “seat”, Balinese believed that God sits on a lotus flower. It is a roofless shrine with an empty throne on its top, the throne of God.

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The padmasana presents the form of Balinese macrocosmos. It is divided into three sections – the familiar Tri Loka: Bhur (the world of demon), Bwah (the world of human), Swah (the world of gods). At the base of padmasana, in Bhur Loka is Bedawang Nala (the turtle of universe) which support the world on its back. It is being held by two snakes, Anantaboga and Basuki. It is sometimes said that the snakes are holding the turle so as to keep it from causing catastrophic earthquake by moving too violently.

Padmasana Padmasana

In the center part of padmasana in Swah Loka, man’s daily activities are sometimes displayed in carvings. Near the throne, below the top, various manifestation of God may be depicted in Swah Loka. A swan and an eagle frequently decorated the back of padmasana – the swan being Brahma’s (the creator) vehicle and the eagle Wisnu’s (protector).

Padmasana Padmasana


The padmasana is normally located in the extreme kaja-kangin (mountainward-east) corner of the temple, often placed at an angle so that the open chair faces kelod-kauh (seaward-west). In the large Jagatnatha temple, in downtown Denpasar there is an enormous and elaborate padmasana directly in the center of the temple. At the other extreme are small padmasana shrines made of pre-cast concrete that one can be bought quite cheaply in Kapal, Badung regency.

The most famous padmasana in Bali is the triple shrine located in the most important courtyard of Pura Penataran Agung at Pura Besakih. The three Padmasana are arranged side by side, the group together called Padmatiga. Although it is often said that the three shrines are for Brahma, Wisnu, and Siwa, actually all three are for aspects of Siwa. The red shrine on the right is dedicated to Sadhasiwa; the black shrine on the left, Siwa; and the middle white shrine, Paramasiwa.


Whether modest or grand, erecting a padmasana is never a task to be taken lightly. This, to be sure, is true for any shrine. Whether it is of cheap or dear materials, once dedicated and purified the padmasana becomes the throne of God, and must be maintained and cared for in a careful, prescribe manner.

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