Near the top of a mountain in the Crabtree community lies Mount Soma, a spiritual community with a Vedic Shiva temple.
To fully understand what Mount Soma is, one must first understand what led its founder, Dr. Michael Mamas, to his quest to learn about the ancient Vedic technology — a journey that eventually led to the founding of this serene space in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The temple grounds, which are open to the public, are a day trip destination or a weekend venture for many looking to get away from city life.
Mount Soma is located on 448 acres filled with a diverse range of beautiful trees, rock formations and natural springs. The heart of the property is a Vedic Temple, Sri Somesvara, an authentic Vedic temple, 100% Vastu that employs Vedic technology in all ceremonies.
“This is a very excellent temple, 100% perfect Vastu, very rare. All dimensions and bindu points 100% accurate. Along with Kauai Temple, this is the first Vedic Vastu Temple in America. Like an American Himalayan Temple. Mount Soma is a very excellent and pleasant peaceful place to visit, perfect for this great temple,” said Shiva Kumar, acclaimed Vastu architect, at the temple’s dedication in 2011.
An enlightened city
As an undergraduate student, majoring in physics and math, a young Mamas first learned of the unified field theory as espoused by Albert Einstein and other great physicists of the 20th century and sometimes referred to as the “Theory of Everything.” The search to understand that led Mamas to the gurus of India and the study of the ancient Hindu philosophies.
While in India, Mamas learned how to build in concert with nature.
Mount Soma is such an enlightened city and spiritual destination center. As such, it provides spiritual growth and meditation programs, a Vedic wellness center, murthis or statues of deities with parks, Vedic study, and business and meeting facilities all in a majestic natural setting with Vedic temples radiating coherence into the city’s inhabitants and surroundings.
Vedic technology is on one hand simple to understand and on the other an ancient, complex philosophy that requires years of study. At the simplest level it is a place that is in harmony with natural law, in harmony with the Divine flow.
“Just as the seed contains all knowledge of the entire tree, the Veda is the seed that holds all knowledge of the universe,” says Mamas.
Mount Soma’s mission is to purify spiritual understanding and enliven each individual’s innate wisdom, promoting integrity, peace and harmony throughout the world.
Mamas is quick to point out that he views the Vedic technology as a supplement to western religions. A practicing Christian himself, he finds the ancient philosophies to be supportive of, not in conflict with, his religious upbringing.
Mount Soma can be as simple as a great getaway for the day, or as complex as the source of learning what the temple provides. For those wishing to experience the tranquility and beauty of the grounds without going deeper into the philosophy, the grounds are open every day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Children are welcome, though pets are not. There are several walking paths on the grounds, including one that leads to Ganga Park stream and its waterfall. More miles of hiking trails are available in the immediate area.
“On a typical summer weekend day, as I look across our grounds and see the many local families picnicking, playing games with their children and just enjoying nature, I understand how Walt Disney must have felt when he viewed Disneyland. Like Disney, we provide an alcohol-free, drug-free, wholesome environment for families to enjoy — albeit without the admission fee, though donations are greatly appreciated, Mamas says.