Hari-katha Articles Offer Yourself

Offer Yourself

Krsna wears a peacock feather on top of his head. This is an innert feather. Still, the feather is saying, “I am on top of Kṛṣṇa’s head. You will also be an authority like me if you offer yourself to Kṛṣṇa He will carry you on His head. If you don’t offer yourself, you are already dead, wounded, injured, completely useless and fallen.” Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura said, “I was alone and useless but Kṛṣṇa accepted me and gave all types of blessings, kindness and grace. Now svayaṁvara līlā-śakti—Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and the Vraja-devīs gave me some goodness and as a result I am always singing the glories of Kṛṣṇa and cannot remember anything else. This is my good fortune.”

A peacock presented one of his feathers to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa took that and put it on top of His head. That peacock feather crown helps and protects us. We are all useless and nonsense. But if we offer ourselves to Kṛṣṇa, then Kṛṣṇa has promised—

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ
Bhagavad-gītā 18.66

“Completely abandoning all bodily and mental dharma, such as varṇa and āśrama, fully surrender to Me alone. I shall liberate you from all reactions to your sins. Do not grieve.”

ananyāś cintayanto māṁ
ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ
yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham
Bhagavad-gītā 9.22

“For those who are always absorbed in thoughts of Me, and who worship Me with one-pointed devotion by every means, I Myself carry their necessities and preserve what they have.”

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te
pratijāne priyo ’si me
Bhagavad-gītā 18.65

“Offer your mind to Me; become My bhakta by hearing and chanting, etc. about My names, forms, qualities and pastimes; worship Me and offer obeisances to Me. In this way, you will certainly come to Me. I promise you this truthfully because you are very dear to Me.”

He promised that he cannot reject anyone. This is our hope. We are useless, have bad characters and are rascals, but Kṛṣṇa will never, never, never kick us out or neglect us. There will be no more punishment (of maya). He will make us brahmacārīs—like peacocks and make usfollow in his footsteps. Kṛṣṇa is giving His nectar, and anyone who drinks it will never lose their energy. If we have no receptive power in our brain, and our brain is lost—then all brahma-śakti is lost. If our brain is one pointed we will not be defeated by māyā. If we are at Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet then maya will not have any power over us. She punishes us because we cannot offer ourselves.

Now sixth verse:

mukulāya-māna-nayanāmbujaṁ vibhor
muralī-nināda-makaranda-nirbharam
mukurāyamāna-mṛdu-gaṇḍa-maṇḍalaṁ
mukha-paṅkajaṁ manasi me vijṛmbhitām
Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta Verse 6

O Kṛṣṇa, You are everywhere, not only near me. Mukulāya-māna-nayanāmbujaṁ. How are your eyes? You have crooked eyes, and do they only watch one person? No. You watch everyone in the world. No one can go any distance from Your eyes. But people try to hide by tricks and cheating. Like owls, mice, bedbugs, insects and worms. They always do wrong—stealing blood and disturbing others, therefore they hide all the time. Just as people hide from Kṛṣṇa and His devotees because they are selfish, trying to enjoy with an independent ‘doer’ mood. They can’t talk openly and can’t come face-to-face. Kṛṣṇa’s eyes are very strong therefore he knows everything and watches everything.

Mukulāya-māna-nayanāmbujaṁ. Like a flower that has blossomed it has a nice fragrance, colour, pollen and gives a nice darshan. Similarly, if anyone watches and comes nearby Kṛṣṇa’s eyes, then no one elses eyes will be able to and steal you away.

Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura said, “If you come before Krsna just once in your life and if Kṛṣṇa looks at you, then, with His Muralī He will give you very sweet and tasteful nectar. If you drink that nectar, then makaranda-nirbharam, you will become effulgent; just like when you eat healthy food you look vibrant.

Mukha-paṅkajaṁ. Kṛṣṇa’s face is more beautiful than a lotus. Manasi—my heart is like a lake, and there, Kṛṣṇa’s face is blossoming. While Kṛṣṇa plays the Muralī, who does He watch? He sees who is coming in front of Him Who is drinking this nectar and who has the desire for this nectar? Anywhere Kṛṣṇa kathā, Kṛṣṇa’s glories, the Śrīmad-bhāgavatam, purāṇas, any sādhus, guru-varga, mahā-bhāgavata, God’s associates—anywhere they give classes or speak, then how many people come there to drink this nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s nāma, rūpa, guṇa and līlā? If someone sings Kṛṣṇa’s nāma, rūpa, guṇa and līlā, Kṛṣṇa looks to see how many have a taste for hari katha. He checks if anyone is chanting mahāmantra, or Yaśomati-nandana, or Rādhā-Mādhava. Any name of Kṛṣṇa, or nāma, rūpa, guṇa and līlā, then Kṛṣṇa watches with His eyes and gives them powerful nectar. If they drink this nectar they become stronger. Gradually faith and taste increase and bhāva, rati, māna, praṇaya, rāga, anurāga—Kṛṣṇa will give this one after the other. The sadhaka contemplates when that day will come that I will continuously drink the nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s lotus face in my heart? This means, when will the desire grow to serve Kṛṣṇa with sweetness, and develop relationship with His followers.

If my mind carries the mudane things of this world, then it cannot come near Kṛṣṇa. Therefore we pray, “Oh dear mind, I am requesting you. You have carried such a burden for millions of lives and have become very tired, disturbed and restless. You are not peaceful or happy, therefore I am requesting you—your lake and garden is very big and you gave many people a place; now I am requesting you to give a seat there to Kṛṣṇa.” Call and request Kṛṣṇa to come, “Please come in the garden of my mind. Stay here, sit here and play. Then no more animals will come and no more crooked hypocrites and cheaters will acquire my mind. My mind is always carrying and reaching out to others to come inside.” Anything my mind catches it invites in with my eyes saying, “Come, take a picture.” The head has two lenses, and sometimes four lenses. And these lenses collect pictures and carry them into the mind and then the mind becomes sick and tired and suffers. “Oh lake of my mind, I request you, please bring Kṛṣṇa’s lotus face and drink the nectar of His beauty.” Kṛṣṇa’s face has two eyes, these are nayanāmbujaṁ. With his eyes he watches, “how beautiful are the eyes?” Like a flower bud, a small blossom, there is Kṛṣṇa’s face with a Muralī flute. He is watching with His eyes and distributes nectar with His adharāmṛta, through the Muralī. His ears have beautiful earrings, kunḍalas, which beautify His face.

Kṛṣṇa’s beautiful face, eyes, mouth, ear, nose—they are the petals of a lotus flower.The petals have connection with the lotus and there is a lot of honey. The bumblebee comes, sings nice songs and buzzes around the honey is inside. When the lotus hears the bee’s song, he says, “Yes, now I understand. You are singing my glories; okay, I will give you some honey.” The bumblebee drinks this nectar and forgets everything. He lays and sleeps there day and night, having forgotten all else.

Somehow or other invite Kṛṣṇa in your mind and bring Kṛṣṇa’s lotus face into your mind. In this way your mind will be more and more engaged and involved in Kṛṣṇa and will drink the nectar of His beauty, and this will never cease. By drinking that nectar, you will never be disturbed.

kamanīya-kiśora-mugdha-mūrteḥ
kala-venu-kvaṇitādṛtānanendoḥ
mama vāci vijṛmbhitāṁ murārer
madhurimṇaḥ kaṇi-kāpi kāpi kāpi
Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta Verse 7

If you go to South India, the towers of temples are small, but their gate is very high. Similarly, the gate of Nanda-bhavana has a very high tower. Kṛṣṇa would go there with his friend Kusumasava and sit there. Now Kṛṣṇa’s father had given Him a flute. The other sakhīs and mothers also arranged a flute and gave it to Kṛṣṇa. The sakhīs made a flute for Kṛṣṇa called Mohinī. Another one is called Ānandinī, and one is Vraja-vilāsinī. Kṛṣṇa doesn’t have merely one flute—the sakhīs and mañjarīs make nice flutes for Kṛṣṇa. Sometimes Kṛṣṇa plays this Mohinī, and Raṅginī, and Vraja-vilāsinī, and many other flutes. Today Kṛṣṇa took His Mohana Muralī and went on top of the gate. There he sat with Kusumasava. Madhumaṅgala is also known as Kusumasava. Kṛṣṇa’s name is kusuma, or flower. Asava means intoxicated. Thus, Kusumasava means anyone who drinks a flower’s honey is always very intoxicated. So Madhumaṅgala always drinks the nectar of Kṛṣṇa, therefore he is Kusumasava.

Just as anyone who has a girlfriend that they are very attached to, they will act for her pleasure24 hours a day. This is called asava, intoxicating like wine. Anyone who drinks this may work 18 hours non-stop. What is that drink and energy capsule? We may be hopeless, weak, tired, and sleeping, and sick, but by taking this asava energy capsule we will work very hard. This is an examplethat is true in this world, but it is not like this in the spiritual world. In that world, Kṛṣṇa is kusuma, a blossomed flower in Nanda-bhavana. Who drinks that asava, intoxicating nectar, of Kṛṣṇa’s beauty? First is Kusumasava, Madhumaṅgala. He likes honey too much. Kṛṣṇa is that honey nectar, Madhumaṅgala is always with Kṛṣṇa and is always very happy. He likes sweets, laddus, tasteful jokes, drama and dance. Kṛṣṇa is very pleased with him.

Kṛṣṇa sat on the gate and looked to the south, towards Varsānā. In the middle is Saṅketa, and then there is Vṛṣabhānupura, where Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja and his brothers reside on the four hills—Vilāsa-gaḍa, Māna-gaḍa, Dāna-gaḍa and Bhāna-gaḍa. Śrīmatī Rādhārānī plays there with the sakhīs and mañjarīs. Kṛṣṇa was two and a half or three years old at that time and He looked to the south with a happy mood. The sun was rising from the south-east in the early morning and a gentle breeze flowed across the land. The air flowed through the flute and made a sound automatically. That sound was so sweet! It went from north to south—to Vṛṣabhānupura. Vṛṣabhānu-nandinī Rādhārānī was playing with Her parrot, Śuka. Śuka came out of his cage and Rādhārānī fed him some pomegranate seeds. As Śuka ate them Radharani talk to him and teaches him what to sing—

śrī-kṛṣṇa gopāla hare mukunda govinda he nanda-kiśora kṛṣṇa

She taught Kṛṣṇa’s glories, name and līlā to her parrot.

Then the sound came from the flute. Śrīmatī heard this and then fell unconscious.

Śuka was very disturbed. He did not eat more seeds. He cried, moved around and smelt Her and wondered how to help her?” He did not know, and was disturbed.

In Ānanda-vṛndāvana-campū, Kavi Karṇapura writes, “Śuka was very disturbed. He went to Lalitā and Viśākhā. Rādhārānī, Lalitā and Viśākhā understand his language, but strangers do not.

Lalitā came and tried to bring Rādhārānī back to consciousness. She had fainted and Her colour had changed, becoming very pale. They asked suka, “When and how did She fall senseless and why? Do you know?” Suka said, “Yes, a sound came. Someone was playing a flute; She heard it and it had a poisonous effect which made her fall senseless.” The gopis wondered who was distributing this poison and were determined to find out. Suka told them that it came from a northly direction and he flew off that way.
After five or seven kilometers he saw a big tower. On top of the gate there were two small boys, one was golden and the other was black, and they were sitting and talking sweetly. What where they talking about? Śuka sat on top of a mango branch and listened. Kṛṣna then took His flute and played again. Śuka thought, “I will catch this murdering thief who is distributing poison! I will catch Him and have Him sent to jail where he can’t play His flute, for this flute is only distributing poison, not nectar. My Śrīmatī Rādhārānī heard this, and fell senseless.” Anyone who hears Kṛṣṇa’s flute becomes lost. Calves stop drinking their mother’s breast milk, their ears peark up when they hear Kṛṣṇa’s flute; the cows stop eating grass, deer stand still, peacocks stop dancing and the cuckoos fall silent.

Śuka saw Kṛṣṇa playing around with Kusumasava and also playing with His flute song, hethought, “How astonishing were these sounds? Why are You distributing this poison?”

In his own language, he addressed Kṛṣṇa, “Stop! Stop! No more.”

Kṛṣṇa thought, “Who is speaking? Kusuma, look around. Someone is speaking with a very nice tone.” Śuka had practiced singing Kṛṣṇa’s names and glories. He began chanting, thinking, “Help me. This poison-giver is a cheater. He called out in prayer, singing the songs that were taught to him by Śrīmatī Rādhārānī—

śrī-kṛṣṇa gopāla hare mukunda govinda he nanda-kiśora kṛṣṇa

“Help me stop this person from playing the flute.” But Kṛṣṇa did not stop. Kṛṣṇa was playing more, and then Śuka was even more disturbed and chanted more loudly, “Kṛṣṇa, Govinda, Gopāla.”

Kṛṣṇa said, “Who is chanting my names?” Then He saw this parrot.

Then Kṛṣṇa sent Kusumasava saying, “Kusuma, go and catch that parrot who is chanting my names and ask him what he wants. If I call he won’t come. He is greedy so offer him some pomegranate seeds, or ripe red chillies, or some nice fruits, like cherries or grapes and he’ll deffinately come.”

Kusumasava arranged some bait and showed to Śuka. He came and sat to eat. Kṛṣṇa caught him and stroked him. Being touched by Kṛṣṇa, Śuka forgot the entire world. He forgot Varsānā, Rādhārānī, Lalitā and Viśākhā. Kṛṣṇa took him and told him to come and suka agreed.

Kṛṣṇa took him and returned inside Nanda-bhavana and sat on top of His bed and started playing with His new parrot friend, Śuka. Kṛṣṇa gave him milk, butter and rice, and Śuka ate happily. In the meantime, Rādhārānī’s senses returned, and She looked around, “Where is my Śuka?” She asked, “Lalitā, where did Śuka go? He never leaves me.” Lalita said, “You were senseless and therefore suka was very sad, and flew off to see who played the flute and who was responsible for this poison that made you senseless. He took off but he hasn’t returned yet. Don’t worry though, I will go and find him.”

Lalitā went to Nanda-bhavana and went in the room where she saw Nanda-nandana playing with the parrot very happily. The parrot was dancing on His chest and here and there.

Lalitā told Krsna, “This is Rādhārānī’s parrot. Give him back.” Krsna said, “Oh, ask Śuka whose he belongs to and whether or not he wants to go to Varsānā or stay here?”
Laita asked suka, “Will you come to Varsānā?” The parrot said, “No.” Lalita said, “Are you Kṛṣṇa’s?” Suka replied, “Yes.”

Kṛṣṇa steals and cheats everyone—this is His nature. If anyone comes nearby Him, they will never go back. This is Kṛṣṇa’s power. Lalitā thought what to do so she went to Yaśodā Mātā and said, “Mother. Your lālā, Kaluā, Kanhaiyā is playing with animals on top of his bed. How will his brain develop nicely? By playing with animals his brain will come like an animals’. It’d be better if he plays with humans. He should play with other boys.” Mther Yasoda said, “What mischief is He up to now?” Lalita replied, “He’s caught a free bird and brought it here to play with.”

Yaśodā Mātā went and saw Kṛṣṇa and said, “Kānhā, why are you playing with the parrot? Give him to Lalitā.”

She took the parrot and gave him to Lalitā. Then Śuka’s sense came back, being touched by Lalitā.

Śuka said, “Oh Lalitā-devī, forgive me.” Lalita asked suka, “Why did you leave Rādhārānī in Varsānā?” Suka replied, “I am an animal, I lost my brain. I was greedy, and eating with Kṛṣṇa and I lost my sense.”

If anyone takes Kṛṣṇa’s prasāda, he will lose everything. His prasāda has so much power.

Śuka flew back quickly to Rādhārānī. Rādhārānī was very pleased, and said, “Why did you leave me?” Suka told Her, “I went to search for the cause of your distress, but I got arrested there but I’m back now. Please, never leave me. I left you for a moment and I lost everything.”

Kamanīya-kiśora-mugdha-mūrteḥ. If anyone drinks or watches kiśora’s mūrti and hears his flute, then he will lose everything.

Kala-veṇu. If anyone hears Kṛṣṇa’s flute then he will be humble, tṛṇād api sunīcena, and will always drink this nectar. He will not maintain relations with anyone else. Everything will be stopped. This is in the seventh verse.

mada-śikhaṇḍi-śikhaṇḍa-vibhūṣaṇaṁ
madana-manthara-mugdha-mukhāmbujam
vraja-vadhū-nayanāṣjana-raṣjitaṁ
vijayatāṁ mama vāṅmaya-jīvitam
Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta Verse 8

How is Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura singing! Peacocks dance, standing on one leg and using the other leg for dancing and circling. Kṛṣṇa is wearing peacock feathers, and with this intoxicated mood Kṛṣṇa is watching. He is dancing all over. Anyone who drinks and watches His face loses his heart. Like Kāmadeva arrests someone, then they forget day and night, whether they are naked or wearing cloth, or where they are present—they forget and lose everything. Similarly, here is being said, “How much power does Kāmadeva have to put one in illusion? But Kṛṣṇa is madana-manthara-mugdha-mukhāmbujam. His head has a peacock feather and he dances and gives darshan. How is this time!

Vraja-vadhū-nayanāṣjana-raṣjitaṁ. The Vraja-devīs watch Krsna. How can anyone explain this moment, the beauty of it and the deep relation? Kṛṣṇa is glorified. He conquers everyone; may He also conquer me!

If the sweetness of Kṛṣṇa’s face manefests in the heart, then how can this ever be explained by speech? It is impossible to describe. It comes and melts the heart, cleaning and cooling everything.

Just like when a person is very sick, he is cured with medicine and treatment. Then they give him some energy-filled medicine, like mṛtyu-sanjīvanī. Drinking this tonic he gets his health back. He drinks only a little, maybe just a spoonfull of mṛtyu-sanjīvanī, and his strength returns and bacteria never attacks. If anyone drinks the nectar of Kṛṣṇa dancing with the Vraja-devīs; if anyone hears and remembers this, this is more powerful than mṛtyu-sanjīvanī. Entering inside even once then for millions of lifetimes one will no longer fall sick or lose energy.

pallavāruṇa-pāṇi-paṅkaja-saṅgi-veṇu-ravākulaṁ
phulla-pāṭala-pāṭalī-parivādi-pāda-saroruham
ullasan-madhurādhara-dyuti-maṣjarī-sarasānanaṁ
ballavī-kuca-kumbha-kuṅkuma-paṅkilaṁ prabhum āśraye
Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta Verse 9

Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura sings and Kṛṣṇa drinks this nectar and feels very well.

Like a tree in the heat of the summer season can lose all its leaves and only the tree trunk and branches remain. When the first rain comes then the next day small leaves start to grow. Within a few days the tree is covered and decorated with small leaves and flowers. Similarly, our life is dry nothing is happening. We are in deep summer, suffering from the heats of adhyātmika, ādibhautika, and ādidaivika. Therefore we have lost our enthusiasm and hope. However, if anyone drinks kṛṣṇa-rasa, Kṛṣṇa’s nectar, then his body, mind and senses will become very powerful. Then heart and mind will no longer remain dry but will become very soft and sweet.

The flowers blossomed and petals became fragrant and colourfull. Where did the smell come in the flower petals? The roots of the tree go in many directions and collect good colour, smell, and juice. They store this in the flowers and show it to the world. When the roots are dry the flowers do not give off a smell. In the same way if you meet with the Vraja-devīs and Kṛṣṇa, then your heart will be fragrant like a flower. If you put a rose flower or jasmine flower, or a garland on cloth, then the cloth will take the fragrance.

My heart smells bad and is dirty because all the things I have collected are dirty. A flower is very sweet and good, but I can’t go near it. The meaning is that I don’t have relation with God’s followers, with his nearest and dearest, the mahā-bhāgavatas. If I don’t go to them, then where will this sweet fragrance come from? How can my heart be clean and fragrant? All the dirty dead bodies and rotten things that I keep creates a bad smell no matter how much perfume you wear. Like people who eat meat, they smell bad and these people can’t even tolerate their own smell, and they have spray themselves. They don’t eat juice and fruits and nice things. They don’t just smell bad they have a bad mood and their faces loose colour. If you go near God’s persons, they are like flowers. If you go to those flower garlands, then their fragrance is sweet and the air is clean and fresh. By the association of the Vraja-devīs, you will automatically become cool.

Mañjarī-bhāva will come. What bhāva? Small children are clean and innocent, and they can go anywhere without any ban imposed on them. If they go to someonelses house no one will kick them out. Anywhere they go, people will take them on their laps. Become clean and innocent; in this way you will have no doubts or tension and you will have good relations with everyone. There won’t be any politics and we can all be in one place. Otherwise, why do we get tension? If our hearts are above māyā, then we will serve more and more, and become happier and happier. If our hearts are always drinking this energy and nectar, then how can politics and doubts surface?

The feet of Kṛṣṇa have kuṁkum. The Vraja-devīs take that kuṁkum and smear it on their bodies. The footdust of God’s associates and devotees gives protection.

Caitanya Mahāprabhu himself is anurāga-vallarī; He covered his cloth with the kuṁkum from Kṛṣṇa’s feet saying, “If I cover my body with this, then māyā cannot disturb or touch me.” Therefore this anurāga colour is saffron, protects us and helps us remember Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet.” I take shelter of that Kṛṣṇa.

When first rain comes, meaning that when Krsna’s blessings come, then small leaves start to appear. Those leaves are very soft, sweet, reddish, and they shake in the slightest breeze. Similarly, when Kṛṣṇa plays His flute, if anyone hears it their heart will become very restless. The gopīs become very restless.

Just as flower petals enthuse us with their beautiful blossoms as if they are saying, “Why are you suffering in the dark? Why is your face so sad? Look at me. I am here in the water and forest and I am fine. Why are you disturbed? I am inside the forest and happy. You are with everyone, but why are you disturbed? Come with me, I will go to Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet.” The mañjarīs pick flower blossoms and offer flowers to Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet. Then the flower’s life becomes successful. He says, “Look at me. I am happy. I am happy on the plant, and when I reach Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet I will be even happier.” Why don’t you have a desire to offer yourself at Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet? If you have this desire then the mañjarīs will come and pick you up. Meaning, if you have a desire, then Guru and Vaiṣṇavas will come and pick you up and take you for Kṛṣṇa’s service. Your body and mind will be coloured and smeared with Kṛṣṇa’s kuṁkum from His footdust. But if you have no desire, then your life is useless. Who will protect you?

Like someone who is very greedy for food. If he finds anything, he quickly takes it. Similarly, if someone is tired of suffering so much in this world meets with the mañjarīs, or gopīs, meaning, their followers, and drinks one drop of nectar, he will become greedy and want more and more. Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura told, “Previously I was in ignorance but now Kṛṣṇa has given me the chance to come near the Vraja-devīs and I am very satisfied. I am drinking this nectar and have no desire for anything else.”

[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

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Śrīla Gurudeva speaks on Kātyāyanī-vrata Vraja maṇḍala parikramā, Cīra ghāṭa, 9th November 1993   Śrīla Gurudeva, Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja, leading a...

Śrī Maṅgala-āratī

We stated earlier that our most revered śrīla gurupāda-padma was a rasika poet as well as a self-realized philosopher. I [the author] shall now present some verses from his Maṅgala-āratī song, by which we can easily understand how rasika a poet he really was. In this song, he has described Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s niśānta-līlā, Their pastimes at the end of night, in a confidential way. Ordinary sādhakas cannot imbibe these profound emotions into their hearts; only some elevated rāgānuga Vaiṣṇavas can understand these meanings...

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