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Sri Somesvara Temple

Marcia Bowes - Sri Somesvara Temple, N.C., USA

In August 2006, my spiritual teacher, Maharshi Maheshananda, asked me if I could build a Shiva Temple at Mount Soma, a Vedic spiritual community in the heart of the mountains of North Carolina, USA.

The temple was to be built with the strictest adherence to the rigors of Vastuved. Maharshi determined this could best be accomplished through the lineage of the great and revered Master Builder, V. Ganapati Sthapati, who revitalized the ancient art of vastuved, bringing back the hand-crafted way of life and its deeply spiritual and aesthetic principles.

Over the next 5 years, I developed deep and abiding respect, admiration and heartfelt friendship for our temple architects, Santhana Krishnan Sthapati and architect Krithika Karrupiah.  During much of that time I was in almost daily or weekly contact with them, reviewing and re-reviewing every aspect of the design, planning and construction in minute detail, literally to 1/16 of an inch. They extolled the virtues of professionalism, thoroughness, attention to detail, complete dedication and above all, unlimited patience with me and my continuous rounds of questions. They were able to communicate and specify design details so well that the temple building and all the carvings from India were a precise fit, every measurement correct to 1/16 of an inch! They were with me through thick and thin, through obstacles that could seem insurmountable, and provided a wealth of knowledge on their craft that I am still awe-inspired by.   I am eternally grateful to them.

In India, shilpis hand carved 50 tons of granite, meticulously shaping the Inner Sanctum and niches for the murtis.  In America, they spent 9 months on-site installing the stonework and creating incredible embellishments for the interior and exterior of the temple.

During the time that the shilpis and my dear friend Siva Kumar Sthapati were on-site, I watched with amazement as they literally brought the temple to life.  I saw, felt and personally experienced the truth that “the Shilpi, Tal (Rhythm), Shakti and Stone Merge”.
In the words of Ganapati Sthapati, “The shilpi is jivatman, the microcosm. The macrocosm is the Paramatman.  As they resonate with each other they lose their individual identities.  This is atma samyoga, the soul’s experience of oneness.  This is pure love and the ultimate goal of life.”

Visitors to Sri Somesvara Temple are struck by the vibration and power of the temple.  They frequently comment on the caliber of the vastu temple construction and the subtle yet permeating effect of the deities and the temple. They are drawn back again and again to experience the powerful emanations.

Sri Somesvara Temple,, stands today as a beacon light to the world radiating the harmony and coherence of the Absolute.

Marcia Bowes  
Sri Somesvara Temple, Mount Soma, North Carolina

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