Monday night was Mahashivarathri, March 7, 2016—the most auspicious day of the year for Lord Shiva. Admittedly, I am a bit of a hermit, so my plans were to spend the night at home in private meditation. According to the Jyotish, the Muhurtha (most auspicious time) was between midnight and 1:00 a.m. So I got to bed early in order to be meditating then. During that time, the feeling in the room was palpable. The meditation was deep.

Then suddenly, like a flash, I was compelled to jump up out of meditation, quickly wrap a shawl around me, grab the temple key, and immediately rush down to the temple. Paying little attention to the time, I thought that perhaps the temple would be empty. I couldn’t have been more incorrect—the temple was packed. I walked in to find that my timing couldn’t have been more perfect for the temple visit… Aarathi was about to begin.

Still in my half-meditative state, while happy to see so many familiar faces, I enjoyed the incredibly powerful atmosphere in the temple. Telling the group of how I was pulled out of meditation to come rushing to the temple, I said it felt like Pandit Prasad had called me. He lit up and smiled and said, “Yes, only moments ago, I was thinking that you should be here.” Still, I was happy to return to my meditation at home. As I look back, my visit to the temple seems more like a dream than physical reality.

The whole day was exquisite, starting with Rudrabhishekam in the morning, then hearing the chants, conversation, and laughter as it echoed through Mount Soma all the way to my home. It was a magnificent, powerful, fulfilling, and heart-warming day throughout.

Jai Shiva Shankara

Below is a video recapping some of the day.

© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.


  1. Jai Siva Sankara

  2. I didn’t make it to the late ceremony, but meditated during some of it. Amazingly powerful! Wow! How great it is to be living here and be able to experience events such as this.

  3. Wow! What a great story…thanks for sharing. Wish I could have been there.

  4. This is such a great video! It really captures the reverence and beauty of the day. I hope the Yadkin valley group who cooked and served the meals will see this. The late night attendance this year was the largest yet. People stayed through to the finish (around 2:30-3:00). The adults sat in silence while the children slept peacefully through the bells and chants. The turnout was great considering it was a Monday. When it falls on a weekend with nice weather, the temple will be full all day nonstop for certain.

  5. The music and video brought me right back to the sweet feelings of Mahashivarathri. It was a wonderful and sweet day at Sri Somesvara Temple.

  6. The whole day felt very special and wonderful. Shiva seems to come alive.

  7. The video is beautiful thanks so much for sharing. Everything was beautiful, the flowers, the Gods and the people.

  8. Thanks for sharing your story; it’s beautiful. The day had a sweetness to it, and though I was tired before the late night puja, it energized me and I really enjoyed its power. I’m glad to be able to attend pujas at this remarkable temple, with our very skilled Panditji!

  9. Missed being there. Heard that it was magnificent. Planning this weekend.

  10. Great thing. Thanks for sharing your experience. I would like to share my experience as well

    Recently I have been to Mount soma (First time visitor) and did the meditation at room and thought to meet Dr.Michael Mamas at least one time. Surprisingly next day morning, I could able to meet him for 10 minutes.

    I strongly believe, this place has some power. All the time at the temple, I was in blissful state.

    Once again, thanks for offering such a wonderful place to the society.

    Regards, Chandra

  11. Wonderful story.
    Wonderful video.

  12. There are so many incredible people with amazing knowledge and personal experiences coming to Mount Soma on a daily basis. I bumped into Chandra in the parking lot as I was going in to the Center to give a lecture and invited him to come in and demonstrate his knowledge of Hatha Yoga with the group.
    As the years go by, everything here is becoming more and more fun, fascinating, and profound.