In Asian art a lotus throne, sometimes lotus platform, is a stylized lotus flower used as the seat or base for a figure. It is the normal pedestal for divine figures in Buddhist art and Hindu art, and often seen in Jain art. Originating in Indian art, it followed Indian religions to East Asia in particular.
The precise form varies, but is intended to represent the opening flower of Nelumbo nucifera, the Indian lotus; in some Buddhist legends the baby Buddha emerged from a lotus flower. The Indian lotus is an aquatic plant similar to a water lily, though not actually any close relation. It has a large, round, and flat seed head in the centre of the flower, with initially small openings above each of the relatively small number of seeds.
Among other unusual characteristics, nelumbo nucifera has particular properties of repelling water, known as the lotus effect or ultrahydrophobicity. Among other symbolic meanings, it rises above the water environment it lives in, and is not contaminated by it, so providing a model for Buddhists. According to the Pali Canon, the Buddha himself began this often-repeated metaphor, in the Aṅguttara Nikāya, saying that the lotus flower raises from the muddy water unstained, as he raises from this world, free from the defilements taught in the sutra.
In Sanskrit the throne is called either a padmāsana (Sanskrit: पद्मासन, [pɐdmaːsɐnɐ], āsana is the name for a seated position), which is also the name for the Lotus position in meditation and yoga, or padmapitha, padma meaning lotus and pitha a base or plinth