Padmasana: The Lotus Throne


Every Balinese temple has a slightly different layout. There are similar features and also features that are significant to the local history. The most important part of of the pura (temple) is the jeroan (inner courtyard). The most important shrine in the jeroan is the padmasana, or Lotus Throne. Balinese Hindu’s believe the Supreme Deity is Sanghyang Widi Wasa. During the Galungan festival, the most important festival of the year, the Gods, and souls of their ancestors come down to Earth and must be honored.

Sanghyang Widi Wasa is given a stone seat (Lotus throne) atop a sculpted tower. This padmasana (tower) is always located in the rear right of the temple, the section that is closest to Gunung Agung. The whole tower is supported on the back of the Cosmic turtle, or Bedawang, which carries the world on its back. What a wonderful imagination the Balinese have! The Bedawang has 2 helpers in the form of snakes. These are Naga Basukih and Naga Anantaboga and are part of the Balinese creation myth. In the temple I checked out south of Ubud, they had a little golden figure of a man at the top of the tower, symbolizing fertility it seemed.

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