The Enlightened City

I believe it was 33 years ago, 1982 as best I can recall.  I was living in the ashram when someone told me that in the Vedic literature the instructions exist– how to building an enlightened city.  Every detail was covered.  For a reason unknown to me at the time, this information struck me very deeply.  I marveled over the idea.  I wondered why, if this knowledge exists, there is no such city on the face of the earth.

I started my school in 1994.  Students who were with me then now tell me they recall me talking about the Enlightened City idea that very first year.  I do not recall doing so.  Then years later, I decided to build an Enlightened City.  Based upon the parameters I could remember, I found a piece of property that conformed.  I called it Mount Soma…  a mountain of Soma.  Soma means Divine Nectar.  Though I asked many pandits if they could help me, none of them seemed to know anything about Enlightened Cities.  As time passed, I decided to put a Shiva Linga in the very center of the city.  I imagined we would just build an inexpensive garage sort of structure to house it in.  One thing led to the next and it turned out that we built a complete Shiva Temple with all the details called out by the Vedic architects (Sthapatis).

It was at that time that I met Sthapati Santhana Krishnan (SK).  He was from the organization with V. Gananpati Sthapati, a world-renowned Vedic architect.  SK designed our Shiva temple for us.  Remarkably, around that time, I consulted with a Bhrigu Nadi in India.  He had no idea who I was.  Yet he told me I would be building such a city.  I was amazed.  How could he possibly know that?!

Now here is something perhaps even more remarkable: SK (the very Vedic architect we used to build the Shiva Temple!!) and Ganapati Sthapati have, and are translating, the original texts from Mamuni Mayan and his devotee Manasara.  It is those texts that contain the knowledge of how to build an Enlightened City!  Furthermore, those texts say that the Enlightened City we want to build must have a Shiva Temple right in the center.  I was floored!  What if we put a Durga or Ganesh temple there!?

After that, it seemed every pandit I spoke with knew about Enlightened City design. It was as if the knowledge was being withheld from me until I found knowledge of it within my own self.

Mount Soma


© Michael Mamas. All rights reserved.


  1. What a great story! This is something that visitors to Mount Soma might enjoy reading.

  2. This is so beautiful…

    I must have decided to be born soon after you heard that building an Enlightened City was possible… because I knew it was time to spring into life! I’m kind of joking, but I’m serious about feeling like living at Mount Soma, helping here at this time, and growing and learning with you along the way feels like my purpose for being here. Sometimes I’m surprised when I notice how deeply fulfilled I am. It’s kind of hard for friends and family to believe, I think. I don’t blame them, I didn’t expect it myself.

    I moved to Mount Soma to join the Ashram Program for my personal evolution. What I am actually getting is so much more.

    Even though I was raised by missionaries who dedicate their lives to serving from the beauty and integrity of their faith… Even though I’ve always longed to help heal the world and support all to find fullness of being… Even though I studied theology and people sciences (psych/soc/anthro) in college and sought to find my place in the scheme of things… Even though I strove as an independent young adult to engage my passion and walk my talk… Even with all this, when I first moved here, I thought it was to focus on my personal evolution, to heal the healer within myself so I had more to give. When I heard you intended to build Mount Soma as an Enlightened City that would not only bring peace, harmony, and health to the planet and further the evolution of all… I couldn’t quite believe it was possible. It seemed a too good to be true. Too easy. Too fantastical.

    Over time, Maharshi, Michaelji, I’ve gotten to know you… enough to trust that if anyone can do it, you can. When you explain how life works from the depth of your understanding, I begin to see it for myself. And if any technology can guide and serve this undertaking, it is the Vedic technology, as perceived, understood, and implemented by a highly enlightened consciousness. You say that you couldn’t do it without our help. But it seems to me that you and we are all part of something larger than any one personality… part of a movement, a surge of life welling up through existence to wash over and transform all of creation. And I guess all I can say is: it is an honor to be a part of this. I hope we can assist the ultimate outcome. For me, this is the most worthy cause, and the most believable way to truly make a difference in this world. Not because I understand exactly how it will happen, but because, in my heart of hearts… it seems it just has to be true. Something inside me simply smiles and knows… that it is.

    Jai Guru Dev

  3. Amazing amazing story and told funny! hah!
    And does the city also could had bin in California or Florida.
    Or does North Carolina has a special or the best place?
    It seems to also that the people living in North Carolina are very lucky they have such a city build in their state even if they don’t know it and never will visit it.

  4. I remember you talking about an enlightened city. When I was in the Ashram you had people looking for references to an enlightened city and nobody could find anything. Yet you just kept putting it out there and when I came to the deep dive, it was announced how to build an enlightened city information had been found!

    This story reflects how you live your life and your teachings. You bought a mountain and built roads, a temple, a visitors center, a student union, townhouses, and cottages. You have worked your way through obstacles, learned from your mistakes, nurtured and encouraged your students (even though they might not be able to see it), etc. etc.

    When I have doubts, I remind myself what you have accomplished and I keep coming back.

    All that I have become, I lay at the feet of my teacher.

  5. Yes, this goal you have to build an enlightened city is something you have spoken about for years, You are an amazing Teacher with an amazing skill to convey your spiritual knowledge in a way it can be heard.

    I am glad for everyone who finds themselves there to experience the process, the growing pains as well as the, simply put, the vibrations of this city emerging.

  6. Crystal, I deeply appreciate your comment. It is a testament to the story and how much has been accomplished. I wonder what Michaelji would say about the “mistakes” you refer to. Perhaps he would say that he put something out, saw what came back, and adjusted accordingly. I want to tread lightly here though because your comment was so beautiful and full of love.

  7. Whoops, last but not least….the physical accomplishments as iterated by Crystal.

    Beginning in 2008, when my husband and I spent five months in Mount Soma as volunteers, the community center was just being constructed, the temple lot had been only excavated and we attended the ground breaking ceremony. There was no one living there yet except a tenant in Mark’s place. There were many challenges but we didn’t mind… (our) intended purpose was to do what I could to help make the place more hospitable, ( while we still were able), to those coming through in the future “wanting to know” (seeking the knowledge). For me it was a priviledge that was both heartfelt and deep. And still is.
    John and Nick built the first ceremonial pit using a generator to cut the bricks and the first puja was held at the first summer retreat!!. I remember Marlene getting the trailers in for cooking for the first retreat..Carla being Marlene’s right hand help. and John going down each morning early to see how he might be able to help Marlene or whomever. Barbara moved into her flat in July. It was at times difficult but such an exciting time!!

    Indeed a great deal has been accomplished since then. I only wish someone would have journaled it along the way. I think everyone appreciates what you have accomplished but don’t think to say it for no other reason but that repeating it too often it may be perceived as fluff. I hope you know that.

  8. Many beautiful comments here. I think the word ‘mistake’ is ok, but then again as I have said in the past, the connotation of a word carries more weight than its literal meaning. To everyone: consider you efforts in life to be an experience. You put something out, see what happens, and then adjust accordingly. That is how we learn. No self judgement necessary. No mistakes… just experiments. When you make a clay sculpture, you push the clay one way, then push it back a bit, etc. No mistakes involved. Life is like that. Thanks to Barbara for bringing it up in such a beautiful, lovely, honoring and respectful way. Well done! Bravo!! Good catch!! Thanks to Crystal for her lovely comment. Crystal, you know all this full well about the word ‘mistake’ and we know that. Just also know that it was not a mistake to use the word. You put something out there. It was lovely. The same is the case with all these comments. No mistakes… just put something out there. See what happens… Adjust accordingly. As I have told Bill who works with me on a daily basis, “Once we finish building Mt Soma, we will finally know how to do it.” Until then, it is like tacking a boat, keep ‘correcting’ the previous course (mistake) we set. No mistakes, no mistakes, no mistakes. Just do your best. The rest is all karma.

  9. Great story! Thanks for sharing. To think we are part of this. Amazing. And so blessed!