Thursday, January 2, 2020

Darshan of Shirdi Saibaba on 30,31 December 19

                                      COURTESY: GOOGLE PHOTOS

For my first post in the year 2020, I wish to narrate my experience of visiting Shirdi to have darshan of Shirdi Saibaba. This is my third visit to the holy place. Myself and my wife planned to visit the place  arranged by  Sainamam Tours Pvt Ltd as Shirdi Tour Packageon 30th and 31st December 19 so that I could be in Shirdi for my 70th Birthday. The Package Includes : Two Way Economy Class Air tickets - Chennai /Shirdi / Chennai,Transportation in Shirdi, Accommodation in Star Hotel at Shirdi, Buffet Dinner on first day ,  Buffet Breakfast and  Lunch on second day, Arrangement for darshan of Saibaba  and other places of worship in Shirdi by an experienced Guide. My experiences of the visit on 30/31 December 19 are given below:

First Day of visit 30.12.19
We reached Chennai International Airport to board Spicejet flight to Shirdi. Spicejet operates two direct flights to Shirdi daily to and fro Shirdi from Chennai. On reaching the place, we were provided with Lunch by the co-ordinator of the tour. The flight took off at 1.30 pm  with delay and reached Shirdi International AIrport around 3.30 pm. Coordinator/ Guide  of the tour at Shiridi, Mr.Rajesh received us and arranged for our travel  of the twenty members of the Group to ST Laurn The Spiritual Resort by different cars. 

Image result for st laurn shirdi"
Courtesy Google Photos

St Laurn - The Spiritual Resort, the best luxury hotel in Shirdi, a resort where peace of mind is restored. Spread across five-acres, the upcoming property will be a luxury five-star hotel with 138 keys. St Laurn is one of the best 5 star hotels in Shirdi offering top-end Meditation & Spa facilities. A warm welcome awaits you! To know more about the Hotel and to book rooms visit the site at

After getting refreshed we went to Saibaba Samadhi Mandhir by the Cars arranged by the Hotel. Our Guide Mr.Rajesh took us to important places in the Mandhir complex like Gurusthan (Holy Neem Tree), Dixit Wada Museum and explained in details about the importance and details of each place. Then he took us to the entrance of queue for Paid darshan which was arranged by the Travel and we joined the queue and had nice darshan of Saibaba. 

Mobiles/Cameras/ Electronic Devices and wearing cheppals inside the temple are prohibited and we had to leave them outside.

Mr.Rajesh informed us that the present idol of Saibaba in the Mandhir was installed in the year 1954 and until then a portrait of Sai baba was worshipped in that place. At present the portrait is kept in the Dixit Wada Museum.

Image result for shirdi sai baba"
                                     Courtesy Google Photos
After having  nice darshan of Shirdi Saibaba ,  we reached the Hotel and had our dinner.

About St Laurn The Spritual Resort
As explained earlier the Hotel has five star facilities like Swimming pool,Gym,Spa,Children's Play area etc. There are also Idols of Shidi Saibaba in an ambiance of Temple with Priests doing Pujas regularly. 

                                Sai Baba's idol in St Laurn Resort

                                 Sai Baba's idol in St Laurn Resort
Sai Baba's idol in St Laurn Resort

Big Portraits of Shirdi Saibaba with his Messages adorn the walls of the Hotel everywhere. On the whole the Hotel has a Divine atmosphere and the Rooms and Room Services are very Good. It is a nice place to stay in Shirdi with a Spiritual feeling.

Second Day of visit 31.12.19
On the second day after taking our breakfast in the Hotel, there was a get      together of the Group members arranged by the Coordinator to celebrate my 70th Birthday with cutting of Birthday cake by me.He also presented 'Sri Sai Satcharita' book on behalf of Sainamam Travels. It was an unforgettable Birthday celebration for me since it happened in Shirdi.

Hanuman Mandhir:
Next we went from the Hotel to Hanuman Mandhir which is near the Samadhi Mandhir. The Anjaneya inside the temple is reported to the exisitng in the same place when Saibaba was alive and he used to worship the Anjaneya Idol which is in the temple.
Hanuman Mandhir

After worshipping Lord Anjaneya we went to Dwarakamai, a place where Saibaba used to dwell. Dwarkamai is one of the treasures of Shirdi for the devotees. They say that Dwarkamai is the heart of Shirdi, the place where the great Sai Baba spent a significant part of his life including his last moments. Though we had to stand in a Queue , it was fast moving and we could spend considerable time inside the Dwarakamai.

Entrance of Dwarakamai

This two-levelled structure is home to many possessions of the great Sai Baba. The first level has a portrait of Baba and a huge stone on which he used to sit. This level has two rooms- one with a chariot and the other that contains a palkhi (palanquin). A small temple with a saffron flag rests in front of these rooms.

On the second level is a square stool made entirely of stone- this stool is the one that Baba used to sit on while taking a bath. There is also a big grinding stone here and a wooden vessel called 'Kolamba'.  This vessel is the same one in which Baba used to keep the bhiksha that he brought from the village.

Another memento of Baba that attracts thousands of devotees to Dwarkamai every year is an oil painting of Shri Sai Baba sitting in the carved wooden shrine. The painting conveys several emotions and sides to Shri Sai Baba- kindness, patience, self-belief, generosity and unflinching faith in the Almighty in a beautiful and artistic manner.
Then we went to Chavadi which is also nearby Hanuman Mandhir and Dwarakamai. 

Chavadi means village meeting place, office, or court and was the place where taxes were collected, village records kept, disputes settled by the village heads, and visiting officials put up. After Baba's mahasamadhi the Sansthan acquired the Chavadi, and until the late 1930s, used it for storing books and accommodating pilgrims. The village offices have long been relocated and the Chavadi is kept as a shrine to Baba and is open to all.

The Chavadi is very significant to Sai devotees not only because Baba stayed here but also because it played a major role in the inception of formal worship of Baba. Once Baba started sleeping at the Chavadi, the custom arose of offering regular arati to him on his arrival from the mosque. This was Sej (night) Arati. Later, Kakad (morning) Arati was offered when he woke up there. Inside the Chavadi is a large portrait of Baba which was painted by Ambaram from Nausari in Gujarat, after Baba had given him darshan in a dream in 1953. The right portion of the building contains the framed photo of the cross-legged Baba kept in grand attire.

There were separate queues for Men and Women to enter inside Chavadi but the queues were not long like the queue to enter Dwarakamai. So we could easily enter the Chavadi and worship Saibaba.

After visiting Chavadi we went for shopping in the shops located in the area where they are selling Idols and Pictures of Shirdi Saibaba and other mementos.

Return to Chennai:
After taking our lunch in the Hotel we vacated the Hotel and reached the Airport by the Taxis arranged by the Coordinator of the tour. The flight was on time and we could reach Chennai by 4.45 pm.

Thus our visit to Shirdi though hectic , it was very pleasant and we could cover all the important places within a short span of time.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Important Steps for Filing Income Tax Returns for FY 2018-19 by Salary class/Pensioners

Image result for Income tax return
Income Tax Return is the form in which assessee files information about his Income and tax thereon to Income Tax Department. Various forms are ITR 1, ITR 2, ITR 3, ITR 4, ITR 5, ITR 6 and ITR 7. When you file a belated return, you are not allowed to carry forward certain losses.
The Income Tax Act, 1961, and the Income Tax Rules, 1962, obligates citizens to file returns with the Income Tax Department at the end of every financial year.These returns should be filed before the specified due date. Every Income Tax Return Form is applicable to a certain section of the Assessees. Only those Forms which are filed by the eligible Assessees are processed by the Income Tax Department of India. 
It is therefore imperative to know which particular form is appropriate in each case. Income Tax Return Forms vary depending on the criteria of the source of income of the Assessee and the category of the Assessee.
Who are liable to file Income Tax Returns?

It is mandatory to file Income Tax returns, under Section 139 of Income Tax Act – 
  • In case of Senior Citizens-If annual pension income + other Income Exceeds Rs 3 lakh . 
  • Other than Senior Citizen-If annual income exceeds Rs 2.50 lakh.

Even if a person’s Tax liability would be Nil after availing relevant exemptions, it is mandatory to file Income Tax returns. Few years back, it was of no consequence for a person in not filing IT returns , if the taxable income is Nil and he /she can file the returns belatedly too. 

Penalty for Non filing of IT returns:
But from last year the position is different. IT returns can not be filed even belatedly after the completion of assessment year. The penalty for Non filing Income tax returns ranges from Rs1000/- to Rs 10,000/-. Hence, it becomes necessary for those who are having annual income exceeding Rs 250,000/Rs 300,000/- to file Income Tax returns with in the stipulated due date. 
Due Date for filing IT returns for Last FY is 31st July19.

IT Return forms for Salary class and Pensioners:
  • Common IT return form used by Salary Class is ITR I . This is meant for Individuals ( Salary class and Pensioners) .
  • For those who are eligible to file ITR I but who are having Short Term and Long Term capital Gain Income on account of investments in Shares, Mutual Funds and Immovable properties the form to be used is ITR II.

Steps for filing  IT returns online:
1. It will be easy to file online return in e filing portal of Income Tax Department. Keep your Aadhaar Number, Bank account details ( like IFS code and account Number ) ready .
2. Before filing IT return ensure the following facts and figures are correct
a. Annual Salary/Pension income is what is given in part B of F 16 , or as in Pension Statement or the actual gross credit received .

b. TDS effected is reflected in 26 AS . One can file return with out Forms 16 A and 16( Part A) as the details are available in 26 AS.( But they have to ensure that they include total interest received /accrued from various sources . In such cases it is better to have Interest certificate from Banks that includes all interest received with out omission.) 

c. Total other income has to be more than what is given in 26 AS. As 26 AS reflects only the term deposit interests .From this year onwards , one can find entries for Deposit Interest Credits in 26 AS , even when TDS is not deducted ( due to submission of 15G/15H).

d. In 26 AS , SB interest, Bond Interest, Interest on Income Tax refund Order would not be there. But it has to be included in other income. This Year ITR I has been modified to have detailed break up for other income like Int on deposits, SB interest, Other Interest, Int on ITRO etc.

e. For this FY, Standard Deduction is Rs 40,000/- . 

f. Before filing IT returns one should include Other Income , avail all eligible deductions and arrive at Tax Liability. If Income Tax has to be paid ,the same has to be paid in tin-NSDL portal by following the steps - Challan NO- ITNS280>IT-0021>Assessment Year 2019-20>Self Assessment Tax300. One can mention the amount Due as Income Tax , with out bifurcating them into Surcharge , cess etc. Note down the BSR number of the Bank and Challan Serial Number for further reference. Wait for 4 to 7 days so that it is getting reflected in 26 AS.

g. After ensuring that all TDs effected and Tax paid as advance Tax, Self assessment Tax are correctly reflected in 26 AS , one can proceed filing Income Tax return.

3. Log in to e filing Portal of Income Tax department:

Select option -e Filing of Income Tax Returns on line. 

Verify the particulars like Aadhaar number, address etc, already captured from the previous year data and shown in the return. Use Save draft option frequently. Fill in the data regarding income,. Fill in eligible deduction –Standard Deductions of Rs 40,000/-( not applicable for family pension) and Professional Tax paid if any under Sec 16.

4. Details on Income from House Property to be provided in B2 , Income From Other Sources in B3.

5. Family pension income comes under B3-Income from Other sources. For family pension a deduction of Rs 15,000/- or 33.33% of FP I which ever is lesser is eligible under Sec 57(iia) of IT Act.

6. This year, for Other income, details like Int on Deposits, SB Interest, Interest Income from Bonds, Income Tax Refund Order Interest are to be provided in the respective sub heads.

7. In part C deductions on account of 80 C , 80 D etc are to be given. Senior Citizens can avail deduction on Interest on Bank Deposits , including SB interest up to a maximum limit of Rs 50,000/- under Sec 80 TTB. Senior Citizens not eligible for deduction under Sec 80 TTA. Sec 80 TTA is meant for individuals other than Senior Citizen , up to a maximum of Rs 10,000/- towards SB interest alone.( Term Deposit interest excluded)

8. Part D – Computation of Income Tax will be done by the system based on the inputs given and figures furnished/matched with 26 AS.

9. Tax deducted /Paid details would be shown in TDS 1, 2 and in Schedules of Advance Tax/Self Assessment Tax paid based on figures available in 26 AS.

10. After completion , preview and submit the return. In case in preview , some modification needs to be done , edit option can be used.

11. After submission, Acknowledgement V can be e verified with the options given . It can be done either based on Aadhaar OTP, or through Internet Banking.

12. After successful e verification , this can be viewed under option View Return and Forms> Income Tax Returns. Download ITR I and ITR V and save it in a folder. After the Assessment is over ( this may take few weeks/months) the status would be changed to Assessed for the relevant year.

Courtesy: A friend who has shared the above steps in WhatsApp Group..

Monday, May 6, 2019

Stay safe Online

Image result for stay safe online
When dealing with cyber crime, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure. Cyber crime in its many forms (e.g., online identity theft, financial fraud, stalking, bullying, hacking, email spoofing, information piracy and forgery and intellectual property crime) can, at best, wreak havoc in victims’ lives through major inconvenience and annoyance. At worst, cyber crime can lead to financial ruin and potentially threaten a victim’s reputation and personal safety.
It’s always wise to do as much as possible to prevent cyber crime by following the Online Safety Basic steps given below:

Spam and Phishing

Cyber criminals have become quite savvy in their attempts to lure people in and get you to click on a link or open an attachment.

Malicious Email

A malicious email can look just like it comes from a financial institution, an e-commerce site, a government agency or any other service or business.
It often urges you to act quickly, because your account has been compromised, your order cannot be fulfilled or there is another urgent matter to address.
If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it with these steps:
  • Contact the company directly – using information provided on an account statement, on the company’s official website or on the back of a credit card.
  • Search for the company online – but not with information provided in the email.


Spam is the electronic equivalent of junk mail. The term refers to unsolicited, bulk – and often unwanted – email. Here are ways to reduce spam:
  • Enable filters on your email programs: Most internet service providers (ISPs) and email providers offer spam filters; however, depending on the level you set, you may end up blocking emails you want. It’s a good idea to occasionally check your junk folder to ensure the filters are working properly.
  • Report spam: Most email clients offer ways to mark an email as spam or report instances of spam. Reporting spam will also help to prevent the messages from being directly delivered to your inbox.
  • Own your online presence: Consider hiding your email address from online profiles and social networking sites or only allowing certain people to view your personal information. 


Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites (clicking on a link) to collect personal and financial information or infect your machine with malware and viruses.
Image result for phishing

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing involves highly specialized attacks against specific targets or small groups of targets to collect information or gain access to systems. For example, a cyber criminal may launch a spear phishing attack against a business to gain credentials to access a list of customers. From that attack, they may launch a phishing attack against the customers of the business. Since they have gained access to the network, the email they send may look even more authentic and because the recipient is already customer of the business, the email may more easily make it through filters and the recipient maybe more likely to open the email.
The cyber criminal can use even more devious social engineering efforts such as indicating there is an important technical update or new lower pricing to lure people.

Spam & Phishing on Social Networks

Spam, phishing and other scams aren’t limited to just email. They’re also prevalent on social networking sites. The same rules apply on social networks: When in doubt, throw it out. This rule applies to links in online ads, status updates, tweets and other posts. 

Tips for Avoiding Being a Victim
  • Don’t reveal personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent in email.
  • Before sending or entering sensitive information online, check the security of the website.
  • Pay attention to the website’s URL. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (e.g., .com versus .net).
  • If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly. Contact the company using information provided on an account statement, not information provided in an email. Check out the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) to learn about known phishing attacks and/or report phishing.
  • Keep a clean machine. Keep all software on internet-connected devices – including PCs, smartphones and tablets – up to date to reduce risk of infection from malware.

What to Do if You Are a Victim

  • Report it to the appropriate people within the organization, including network administrators. They can be alert for any suspicious or unusual activity.
  • If you believe your financial accounts may be compromised, contact your financial institution immediately and close the account(s).
  • Watch for any unauthorized charges to your account.
  • Consider reporting the attack to your local police department, and file a report with the Federal Trade Commission or the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
  • Protect Yourself With These STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ Tips
  • When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts and online advertising are often how cyber criminals try to compromise your information. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or – if appropriate – mark it as junk.
  • Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implores you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true or asks for personal information.
  • Make your passphrase a sentence: A strong passphrase is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!
  • Unique account, unique passphrase: Having separate passphrases for every account helps to thwart cyber criminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passphrases.
  • Lock down your login: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passphrases are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media. 
  • Malware and Botnets
  • Viruses
  • Viruses are harmful programs that can be transmitted to computers and other connected devices in a number of ways. Although viruses differ in many ways, all are designed to spread themselves from one device to another and cause havoc. Most commonly, viruses are designed to give the criminals who create them some sort of access to the infected devices.
  • Spyware
  • The terms “spyware” and “adware” apply to several different technologies. The two important things to know about them are that:
  • They can download themselves onto your device without your permission (typically when you visit an unsafe website or via an attachment).
  • They can make your computer do things you don’t want it to do, such as as opening an advertisement you didn’t want to see. In the worst cases, spyware can track your online movements, steal your passphrases and/or compromise your accounts.
  • Botnets
  • Botnets are networks of computers infected by malware (such as computer viruses, key loggers and other malicious software) and controlled remotely by criminals, usually for financial gain or to launch attacks on websites or networks.
  • Image result for botnets and malware
  • If your computer is infected with this malware and part of a botnet, it communicates and receives instructions about what it’s supposed to do from “command and control” computers located anywhere around the globe. What your computer does depends on what the cyber criminals are trying to accomplish.
  • Many botnets are designed to harvest data, such as passphrases, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, addresses, telephone numbers and other personal information. The data is then used for nefarious purposes, such as identity theft, credit card fraud, spamming (sending junk email), website attacks and malware distribution.
  • Ransomware
  • Ransomware is a type of malware that accesses a victim’s files, locks and encrypts them and then demands the victim to pay a ransom to get them back. Cyber criminals use these attacks to try to get users to click on attachments or links that appear legitimate but actually contain malicious code. Ransomware is like the “digital kidnapping” of valuable data – from personal photos and memories to client information, financial records and intellectual property. Any individual or organization could be a potential ransomware target.
  • Protect Yourself With These STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ Tips:
  • Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats.
  • When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, social media posts and online advertising are often how cyber criminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.
  • Protect all devices that connect to the internet: Along with computers, smartphones, gaming systems and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
  • Plug & scan: USBs and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.