Sarubai Lakshman Tambe

and her 4 children
Sunita, Sita, Sagar and Ravi
This is a wonderful story of uplift .. of simple, basic social-work giving real life to an alcohol-abused family of four children and an uneducated single mom.  Below is the history of how I met this dear family in the year 2002, four months after the death of the abusive alcoholic father and the subsequent visits and changes to their life .. thru a bunch of respect, love and a bit of money (which was a bunch for them).

These two links... The Bliss Book - Both families - 2003-4  ...and...  Blissbook2005 - Ellora... contain absolutely joyful uplifting photo collages made after my visits in the Fall of 2003 and 2004.  The photos are ever so precious, revealing that which can result from even a small amount of dedication and love. I hope you will look at them, and surely I know you will enjoy the endless pairs of happy, loving eyes and smiles. This  photo was taken on her 16th birthday!  Lastly, there is a 2005-2010 update to enjoy.

It certainly is a truth, when Christ, Buddha and no doubt others have said .. if you want to know God, then serve the poor.  This has many meanings, including the two most obvious .. seeing God in those we serve; as well as experiencing that which it means (and requires) to be a god for someone else.

Ananda & Sita in Ellora

ONE REMARKABLE thing I see in the photos is the beautiful change in Sita since I met her at age 9, November, 2002. This photo of the two of us is definitely one of my favorites, two years later, December, 2004.

Below, in the red shirt, is "my" precious Sita at age 9.  Those photos below were taken when I first met the family, 4 months after her very abusive, alcoholic father died.  A "frozenness" can be seen in these photos of her...and then when you see the photos of her now (like this one sitting with myself), one can easily see how she is "drinking the love, like water in the desert"... and I have certainly enjoyed ever so much, pouring it on!!  


I met this dear family in November of 2002, when I was visiting the ancient caves at Ellora.  Sitting one evening at the small boutique of my friend Dinesh, I noticed Sarubai and her three children living on the floor of the absolutely stark skeleton of her closed tea shop, next door.  I asked Dinesh to tell me about her, and he related that a few months earlier, her alcoholic husband had died, confirming my further questioning that he was also of the useless and violent type.  The visible situation of this nearly penniless mother and her children touched my heart.  So I asked, thru Dinesh, for eldest daughter Sita to come to us, and when she did so, I gave her a 500 rupee note to give to her mom.  Of course, great smiles and joy resulted. When Sarubai came over to talk to us, I told her I was sad she was without a husband, but yet very happy for her that she is now free of such troubles, anguish and disrespect.

Sarubai was working for the government, doing simple gardening work at the Ellora Caves, for about 1000 rupees per month, which is approximately $26.  The Rs 500/= which I gave her was one half-month's salary! The next few days, as I would pass by those garden areas where she worked, great smiles, waves of hello, and visits from the kids would greet me.   About one week later, the night before my departure, I was again sitting with Dinesh, and asked Sarubai to come over and visit with us.  Asked what she would do with Rs 2000/=, she said she would fix up her tea shop so she could do business there.  Of course I gave her that amount of rupees, and received lots more warm smiles.  Next morning was more fun and joy, as I arrived about 6 am for the bus out of town.  The bus stop is right in front of her and Dinesh's shops, and so she saw me sitting there waiting for the bus.  She made a cup of tea for me and brought it over.  We only exchange smiles and vibes, because I do not speak her language.  When I saw the bus coming, I motioned to her, and she came for the tea cup...next to which I had another Rs 500/=  folded in my hand, as I handed her the cup.  So, in a bit over a week she received 3,000 Rupees ($70), equivalent to 3 months salary for her. This is such joy for me, and I will never forget the smiles and happiness on the faces of Sarubai and her children.

Sitting on the bus traveling to my next destination, I realized that I had just adopted another family in India, and quite happily so.  I also was feeling so grateful to Simone, of New Zealand, pictured here with the family, for it is she who took these wonderful photos. Thanks, Simone!

More fun followed.  When I returned home from India, I had Rs 1,100/= in my purse, which I sent to her via postal mail.   Now, I always very much look forward to visiting Ellora again, to share smiles, hang out with her kids, see how they are doing, and see what nice thing I can do to help her further develop her tea shop business into something self-supporting.


Now their "shell" of a restaurant has been remodeled and is operating as a business. LakshmiAnandaRest72.jpgThis occured in December, 2003, in one month of time, and Rs 30,000/= (approx. $700).  Sarubai's income has now improved to about Rupees 4,000/= per month (about $100).  The little fellow...Ravi...started his 1st year of English-speaking school in the December of 2004; and currently (spring, 2005) we are engaged in building a home for the family, on a small piece of land purchased (with help by Sarubai's younger brother) also in December, 2004.  Many thanks to those who have helped with donations.



They now have their own home .. called Advaita Ananda Samadhi Ashram. AdvaitaAnandaSamadhiAshram.jpgThis not only serves as their own home and place for a real life, but also serves as a place where visitors can have an "Indian Family experience".  Visitors to the Samadhi Hermitage-India will have an option to stay at the Hermitage, or with the Tambe family at the Ashram.  A truly beautiful family, sharing their love and joy in the photos on these "Blissbook Collage" pages.  Ravi is now in 3rd class, at the English Medium School; and precious Sita is a true Jewel, seemingly and hopefully destined to be in service to village women and girls as a Yogini, sadhu, social worker, etc. A great picture of her by my side can be seen here .. Miles of Smiles.

The Restaurant no longer exists as the Lakshmi Anand restaurant.  However, it does still belong to Sarubai .. she rents it out to a very good friend, so she gets a modest monthly income from it .. enough to feed her family .. and time to time she still does the gardening work at the caves when they call her.

Visiting Us

If you are traveling to India, and wish to visit the absolutely awesome ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Jain caves at Ellora, please do visit us at the Samadhi Hermitage-India and likewise visit Sarubai and her children at their family ashram, stay in the extra room at the house, enjoy the kids and Sarubai's great cooking, etc. etc. Take a bus from Aurangabad (30 minues), which is about 4-5 hours from Pune; 8 hours or so from Mumbai. Be sure to ask the conductor to let you down at the Ghrushneshwar Mandir (temple).  You can ask any of the shop people at that point, where is Sita's home, the American Sadhu Baba, etc.  You will walk past the Ghrushneshwar Dharamshala and one small residence, and see there home, as in this picture.  My mobile phone # here is 95451-63039.

Want to Help?

If you wish to donate any funds for their well-being, please send your tax-deductible donation to the Samadhi Hermitage,
with "Sarubai" written in the notes section of your check.

All such donations will go directly to her, for good feeding, clothing and schooling of her children.

Please send your tax-deductible contribution for Sarubai, payable to:

Samadhi Hermitage
P. O. Box 4164
Santa Fe, NM 87502

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and a receipt will be sent to you for your files.
No amount is too small or too large.

Please mention "Sarubai" in the memo area of your check.
Thank you very much.
Jai MA!


Samadhi Hermitage, Madrid, New Mexico, USA
Home Page
Samadhi Cave - Introduction
Samadhi Cave - Page Two
and Logistics
Hanuman One-Month
Meditation Cave
Our Monk
Hermitage Photo Collage
More Fun Photos
Charitable Services
A Month in Samadhi Cave
by Lynn B.
Dwadash Pradeep's "Twelve Lights"
Bhaiji's 12 special instructions to devotees of
Shree Shree Anandamayee Ma

Other Spiritual Links you might like
Vegetarians and Antibiotics
Submitted to the United Nations - Oct. 24, 1983
Three Spiritual Healer Friends
Coaching, Counsel, Guidance, Healing, Insight, Intuitive.
  Amita can also provide her service at the Hermitage if you wish.

Advaita Ananda Samadhi Ashram - Ellora, Maharastra, INDIA

Advaita Ananda Samadhi Ashram
= now -- FOR SALE =
Ananda's Ashram and the
Samadhi Hermitage Crystal
Meditation Cave
Construction Days - 2009-2014
Six years, on and off,
our India Ashram. 
Stone walls, construction folks, etc.
Glimpses from the Past - 1994-2002
Collages and Stories of two
Indian families.
Still we are with two children from each!
Jyoti & Sagar in Mishra family;
Sita & Sagar in Tambe family.
Hearts and Faces in Stone
India Ashram Stone masonry fun!
"Miles  of Smiles"
Families & friends… in bliss!
 Samadhi Hermitage - India Trust
We are officially non-profit in India.
Shivani Puri
  Kids and families
at her Ashram
in Amar Kantak, headwaters of the Narmada Ganga.
The Roy Family, in West Bengal
  A true Gandhian family totally dedicated to village service and uplift.
Sita's Family
Sarubai Tambe Family Residence.

Would you like to help with Social Work in India?
$10-20/month is NOT a hardship for most of us; yet it can do wonders in 3rd world countries!
For assistance to poor folks in any 3rd world country, no amount is too small.
Click here … for a visit to "Social Work in India"

(please copy/paste to your email program).

Telephone: (505-473-3560)

A February, 2011 Survey                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                        Return to Top of Page