Samaya and Kuala

Satish Raja Arigela
sephirah5 wrote: The reason the Samaya Path is the "pure" one is because the people on it are not in control of their animalistic tendencies and have to follow a path that does not encourage them.

Substantiate your statement about Samaya path! Example: I can call a person a theif. That doesnt mean he is. I gotta show evidence. Like wise, please show evidence for this. Otherwise, please take that statement back.

Recently Nora posted from LS the meanings of Samaya. It is a good idea to read them before responding. Samayachara tatpara etc.

sephirah5 wrote: The Left-Hand Path is referred to as "heroic" because to succeed with it you must be already in control of your own lower nature.

That is not the only opinion. They are multiple opinions about that.Example: Some Tantriks think that it is for the lowly. Some for the advanced. What about Divya path which is above (the Vamachara texts themselves say that) Vira where there is no usage of 5M. What about Kaulikottamas (highest Kaulas) who doesnt need real 5M either? Avalon mentions that some Vamachara sadhakas of Vatuka Bhairava(Boy Bhairava/ or Deviputra/ or Bhairavi tanaya as his sahasranama says) dont touch women either. Think about that.

Kochu
As I understand there is a path for each. No amount of raving and ranting converts people. people choose paths or paths choose people.

You may have your path; I will have mine.

No amount of raving and ranting will change that.

I will not say any further.

Some religions are famous for conversion. Hinduism is not one of them. We have no intention of converting any one. Some people may have residue of their conversionist religions we understand and are patient.

Arjuna Taradasa
Lili Masamura wrote : [1]Actually, it was elucidated in the intro to the Lalitasahasranama; the Samaya Path is referred to as "pure and noble".

To be true, the original meaning of "samaya" was something different from what is now propagated by many SV upasakas. In the earliest texts mentioning this term (like for instance in Tantraloka of Acharya Abhinavagupta and Kubjika Tantras - which are of 10 century CE) "samayachara" means the path of rules/restrictions. Thus, samayachara is certainly inferior to kulachara, being a path for pashu-sadhakas. Kularnava holds the same opinion. This meaning of samaya was also confirmed to me by some indian tantrologists. However, seemingly from Lakshmidhara and onwards, the meanings of samayachara and kulachara were altered so that they were put upside down. In this case samaya stands IMHO for siddhantachara out of the 7 acharas.

[2]I have never heard of any Samaya sexual practices, but please feel free to correct me on that one.

If we equate samayachara with dakshinachara, then for sure there are certain sexual practices. Actually the restriction of dakshinachara is the following - one has to practice makaras only with his wife. Likewise, "Sarvollasa" says that 5M are to be used physically in dakshinachara.

Then, if we take samayachara in the sense of the highest level of upasana, then there are no rules. Thus, 5M may or may not be practiced - that is upto ichchha of sadhaka.

[3] thus it is not surprising that "highest Kaulas" would not need the "actual" 5 Ms.

Funny enough, according to some sourses "highest kaulas" or uttara- kaulas are exactly those who do practice 5M physically ;), as opposed to purva-kaulas who use anukalpas.

...Besides, 5M is a later development; originally only 3 were used - madya, mamsa and maithuna. Tantraloka states that these 3 are 3 kinds of Ananda-Brahman manifested in human body (see 29th ahnika).

Satish Raja Arigela
Arjuna Taradasa wrote: [1] To be true, the original meaning of "samaya" was something different from what is now propagated by many SV upasakas. In the earliest texts mentioning this term (like for instance in Tantraloka ofAcharya Abhinavagupta antd Kubjika Tantras - which are of 10 century CE) "samayachara" means the path of rules/restrictions. Thus, samayachara is certainly inferior to kulachara, being a path for pashu-sadhakas.

Two things: 1)Date i.e original meaning and 2)Status of Samaya

1)Date - Original meaning:

This samayachara that you talk about is stated by Lakshmidhara and others as propounded by Adi Shankaracharya.

It is agreed upon by every Indological scholar that Shankaracharya's time is 8 th century. Surely Shankaracharya or for that matter anyone will not popularise something which they consider inferior.
Not only him but even the works of Gaudapadacharya i.e Shankaracharya's parama guru(Guru's Guru) is known to be a proponent of Samayachara. Gaudapadacharya obviously will belong to 7 th century. Considering that Abhinava lived in 10 th century which meaning is to be considered original and older?

Status of Samayachara:

Bhaskara Raya(17th century), undoubtedly one of the greatest ShriVidya upasakas ever, says this about Samaya. "Samaya is commonly (lit. traditional custom) explained as ofeering worship, etc., to a chakra in the ether of teh heart. That (worship) is unanimously decided by all the yogins as the supreme, hence it is called Samaya."

Now Bhaskara Raya says that is the traditional meaning. Which means that even during the time of Bhaskara raya this meaning is quite popular and he adds this is "unanimously decided by all yogins as the supreme".. Need more be said?

Also remember that words have multiple meanings and the context is quite important.

Hence the statement that samaya is inferior and for pashu sadhaka-s is at best, partial, ill-infomed and an outcome of poor research.

Furthermore, the Paramananda tantra, which is not some stray tantra but is commented upon by a great Shri Vidya upasaka by name Maheshvarananda natha with the title Saubhagya Sandoha Vyakhya says that Dakshina, Kaulikam, Para matam, Samaya all are considered sattvic.

[2]This meaning of samaya was also confirmed to me by some indian tantrologists.

Can you name these people? Or provide references to their works or papers?

[3]However, seemingly from Lakshmidhara and onwards, the meanings of samayachara and kulachara were altered so that they were put upside down.

Was answered above. Shankara and Gaudapada were known to hold Samaya as the highest. Meaning even from 7 th century. That is as far as it is traceable. We dont know how much even earlier Samayachara is considered greater.

Shankara is said to have inheited those views from his lineage starting from Atri and other Rishi-s.

[4]In this case samaya stands IMHO for siddhantachara out of the 7 acharas.

There are tantric scholars who think not. So let us know your reasons.

[5]If we equate samayachara with dakshinachara, then for sure there are certain sexual practices. Actually the restriction of dakshinachara is the following - one has to practice makaras only with his wife.

Firstly, one cannot equate Dakshinachara with Samyachara. There is no Makara sadhana in Dakshinachara although some agree that there are practices like shava sadhana(shava pIThika) and syama pithika etc.

[6]Likewise, "Sarvollasa" says that 5M are to be used physically in dakshinachara. Then, if we take samayachara in the sense of the highest level of upasana, then there are no rules.

What is Samayachara is explained above. It is only for the advanced sadhaka-s. Samayachara in always performed only with bhAvana (visualisation).

[7]Funny enough, according to some sourses "highest kaulas" or uttara- kaulas are exactly those who do practice 5M physically ;), as opposed to purva-kaulas who use anukalpas.

Looks like you are confusing the words uttama and uttara.

Arjuna Taradasa
Satish Raja Arigela" 1)Date - Original meaning: This samayachara that you talk about is stated by Lakshmidhara and others as propounded by Adi Shankaracharya.

What do you mean by this? I'm not sure abt Shankara but Lakshmidhara thought samaya to be rather opposite to what I say.

It is agreed upon by every Indological scholar that Shankaracharya's time is 8 th century. Surely Shankaracharya or for that matter anyone will not popularise something which they consider inferior.

Firstly, it is samaya (being the previous level before kaula) that is to be "popularised" - exactly for the reason of it's relative "inferiority". Kaulachara was never popularised for the reason that it was not meant for pashu-sadhakas. While every Bill and Dick may chant stotras, meditate and whatsoever, he cannot perform advanced kaula practices. Naturally, kula-mata was always help in secret.

Regarding Shankara's position: for the reason he must had known, in his Saundarya-lahari he deliveres certain kaulika veiws ;). As was already mentioned by Sankara Menon, 11 shloka deals with kula- sadhana. Same was told to me by Amritanandanatha.

Not only him but even the works of Gaudapadacharya i.e Shankaracharya's parama guru(Guru's Guru) is known to be a proponent of Samayachara.

I'm not aware of any works of him, sadly, apart from SV Ratna- sutras, that as i remember do not deal either with samaya or kula. However the work of Vidyaranya Yati - the guy was from Shankara's parampara - is a kaula work :)...

Gaudapadacharya obviously will belong to 7 th century. Considering that Abhinava lived in 10 th century which meaning is to be considered original and older?

Kashmiri tradition is older than 10 century - Abhinava was not the first one. As he stated himself in TA, what he wrote is the complete manual of the Kashmiri tantrism. No doubt, his school goes back to at least 6 or 7 century.

Status of Samayachara: Bhaskara Raya(17th century), undoubtedly one of the greatest ShriVidya upasakas ever, says this about Samaya. "Samaya is commonly (lit. traditional custom) explained as ofeering worship, etc., to a chakra in the ether of teh heart. That (worship) is unanimously decided by all the yogins as the supreme, hence it is called Samaya."

I know that. And the same Bhaskararaya was propagating vamachara ;) and for that was opposed by other brahmans...

Now Bhaskara Raya says that is the traditional meaning. Which means that even during the time of Bhaskara raya this meaning is quite popular and he adds this is "unanimously decided by all yogins as the supreme".. Need more be said?

One guru of Bhaskararaya's parampara whom i know is following kaulachara. That must be the teaching of parampara, right? ;) Amritananda is also the adept of kaula-mata. This is leading to the certain conclusion :))...

Also remember that words have multiple meanings and the context is quite important.

Exactly right. What Bhaskara meant by samaya and what other mean may differ. Hence the statement that samaya is inferior and for pashu sadhaka- s is at best, partial, ill-infomed and an outcome of poor research.

Well, it is AT LEAST the doctrine of SEVERAL (if not all) ancient tantric traditions. Furthermore, the Paramananda tantra, which is not some stray tantra but is commented upon by a great Shri Vidya upasaka by name Maheshvarananda natha with the title Saubhagya Sandoha Vyakhya says that Dakshina, Kaulikam, Para matam, Samaya all are considered sattvic.

I was not aware of this commentary. Is this Maheshvarananda same Krama (not SV) master as the author of Mahartha-manjari of 13 century?

This meaning of samaya was also confirmed to me by some indian tantrologists. Can you name these people? Or provide references to their works or papers?

Navjivan Rastogi, Lucknow University
Hemen Chakravarti, Varanasi
Must be know to you if you deal with the study of tantrism, eh?
In this case samaya stands IMHO for siddhantachara out of the 7 acharas.There are tantric scholars who think not. So let us know your reasons.

I wrote "In My Humble Opinion" - i won't go into detail thus. This statement is merely my view. When i asked my guru he told that this may be correct; that is the only reference i can provide.

Firstly, one cannot equate Dakshinachara with Samyachara.

IF samaya is taken in the literal meaning of "following the regulations", they are synonims. Then, in vamachara and further niyama becomes "sveccha"...

There is no Makara sadhana in Dakshinachara although some agree that there are practices like shava sadhana(shava pIThika) and syama pithika etc.

No doubt there is SOME sexual practices in dakshinachara - for the MARRIED person. However as i mentioned SOME sources say that even 5M is there (i didn't say that is the utmost truth of all traditions LOL).

What is Samayachara is explained above. It is only for the advanced sadhaka-s. Samayachara in always performed only with bhAvana (visualisation).

Bhavana (and sankalpa) is everywhere essential. But, IF we take samaya as the highest level, then every sadhana can be done there. This is logical conclusion. For satkaula (siddha-kaula or whatsoever we call) there are no rules.

Funny enough, according to some sourses "highest kaulas" or uttara-kaulas are exactly those who do practice 5M physically ;), as opposed to purva-kaulas who use anukalpas.Looks like you are confusing the words uttama and uttara.

Yet I am not. "Uttara" has that meaning as well, not only "northern" You should have seen the dictionary before commenting...

The Cologne Dictionary gives: "uttara"

Sarabhanga Giri
Namaste,
Sri Sankaracarya understood SAMAVAYA (Inseparable Inherence) as an illogical proposition of the Vaiseshika School.
And he knew SAMACARA as an Atharvan text-book on Vedic Observances.

And he knew SAMAYACARA simply as Established Practice.

And he knew SAMAYA as NIYAMA.

Sri Gaudapadacarya would have understood exactly the same.

Arjuna Taradasa
Thank you, Sharabhanga. These facts correlate with that what i wrote previously.

H. Chakravarti told me that at the time of Shankara practice for grihasthis was different from that of monks; it included certain sexual side as well. However, later those were pushed aside by "orthodox" party - so now we have what we have.

Sarabhanga Giri
You do not seem to understand, however, that: Samaya MUST come before Kula; and Kula arises ONLY in the context of Samaya; and Kula can NEVER exceed Samaya.

Arjuna Taradasa
Kula can NEVER exceed Samaya. While this depends on exact definitions we use... In my understanding it does exceed.

Sarabhanga Giri
Perhaps I have missed something. Since we seem to have agreed on the definition of Samaya, are you defining either Kula or Excess in some fashion that I do not understand?

Arjuna Taradasa
You have written: "...And he knew SAMAYACARA simply as Established Practice. And he knew SAMAYA as NIYAMA".

And yes, in this we seem to agree. "Samaya" is "rule" or "custom", "achara" is "following" or "path". "Samayin" is that person who is under samayas, rules.

Consequently, the path of samaya (in shaktism it is dakshinachara; vaishnavas call it vidhi-marga as opposed to raganuga) is preceding that of kula.

Again, as you have written:"Samaya MUST come before Kula; and Kula arises ONLY in the context of Samaya..."

This is ok. I would rather say "on the basis" in spite of "in the context", but this is rather similar.

Then, I do not understand why you proceed with: "Kula can NEVER exceed Samaya". Kulachara is not identical with samayachara for the following reasons:
1. Shastras and tradition differentiate between them.
2. In samayachara one is supposed to follow certain rules set up by Guru and Agamas, while in kaula he is up to his own will, svechchha.
3. Samaya is that worship which is customary, while kaula one is not.
4. In samaya outer things are there (rituals, rules, regulations), it is on duality level. Kaula-marga leads to realisation of unity, samarasya. There God is to be first of all worshipped in the body - one's own and shakti's (see for reference Shadamnaya-tantra and commentary of Amritananda upon Yogini-hridaya, as well as Kashmiri sourses).

If they are not identical but one is following another, the second must exceed previous one. "Exceed" is "go beyond, further", right?

Thus, kaula is above samaya and it exceeds samaya.

According to what my kula-guru said, Kula is above all. However Abhinavagupta puts Trika after Kula - at the top. But then he states that "Trika" in this case is not a system but "SAUH". Then, Yoni-tantra puts Yoni above Kula (although usually these are synonims) , which, again, is not an achara but same Trika, Samarasya.

Sarabhanga Giri
What you are saying seems to prove that Kaula is by definition Adharma!

The Kula may be the jewel in the crown of Niyama (which is far more than just "custom"), but the glory of the crown does not exceed the King. The Kula truly is the very heart of Niyama, but it can NEVER exceed Niyama, for if it does exceed Niyama (which is the completion of Yoga in itself) then it enters the dark realm of Adharma.

And of course, the Yogin in the ultimate stage of his/her practice must go even beyond any distinction of Dharma or Adharma; but this Siddha is so perfectly established within the bounds of Niyama (which also assumes Yama) that no harm can possibly result.

It is truly dangerous to seriously suggest, in any open forum, that Kaula Vidya can possibly go beyond Niyama.

The whole of the Yoga Sutras are truly found, self-contained, within the perfect dicotyledonous seed of Yama.

Devi Bhakta
Listen, I am no match for the erudition of Arjuna or Sarabhanga and the others who have posted on this topic. But let me just add another voice to the chorus, in case anyone finds it useful.

In my understanding, every mantra and every stotram, all the nyasas and dhyanas all of these tools of Tantra are meditative in nature.

When you are a Samayachari, they are mechanical exercises that you do pretty much by rote, because God (in whatever perception, He or She or It) is perceived as separate from the upasaka, and is therefore something to be respected and venerated.

But when the upasaka understands what is what, s/he realizes (by experience, not theoretical speculation or intellectual acceptance) that s/he *IS* this He/She/It. And at that point, how do you venerate yourself? How do you insult yourself? That is when you become a sarvatantra svatantra, a sechaachari, a svechaachari. Then you can joke with Her, call Her names, do whatever all without fear of any "Divine retribution."

That's something that *cannot* be done by a Samayin, because s/he is still in duality. S/he should fear and respect the Divine, and should follow Samaya or Rules. When you become independent of Tantra and are no longer bound by rules, you become a true Kaula.

I know that this statement may annoy some, because in general it has seemed to me (whether stated explicitly, or in tone only) that the Samayachari feels very much superior to the Kaula. Fine, let them feel superior. But let me ask a simple question: If Lakshmidhara's concept of Sriyantra is the best, then why does it have so few followers? Why is it that even the so-called Samayins have either prateeka or meditative versions of the 5Ms?

Simply because it is integral.

Satish Raja Arigela

What do you mean by this? I'm not sure abt Shankara but Lakshmidhara thought samaya to be rather opposite to what I say.

What I mean is that, Lakshmidhara did not interpret something new regarding Samaya and Kaula. He merely told what he got from his tradition. That tradition goes back to Adi Shankara, Govinda Bhagavatpada and Gaudapada(7 th century).

Firstly, it is samaya (being the previous level before kaula) that is to be "popularised" - exactly for the reason of it's relative "inferiority".

I might have used the wrong word by using popularise. In any case I dont see any relation about something being inferior and it getting popularised because of that. Above statment I feel is incoherant and filled with lots of assumptions.

Kaulachara was never popularised for the reason that it was not meant for pashu-sadhakas.

Neither is Samaya for a Pashu sadhaka. While every Bill and Dick may chant stotras, meditate and whatsoever, he cannot perform advanced kaula practices. Naturally, kula-mata was always help in secret.

Same with Samaya. Not all and sundry get initiated into Samaya path. Regarding Shankara's position: for the reason he must had known, in his Saundarya-lahari he deliveres certain kaulika veiws ;). As was already mentioned by Sankara Menon, 11 shloka deals with kula- sadhana. Same was told to me by Amritanandanatha.

To understand Shankara it requires that one reads all of his works, Not just one or two. If one examines Shankara's works like Prapanchasara and Lalita Trishati Bhasya, especially in the trishati Bhasya not even one tantric reference can be found, save the Bhuvaneshvari kalpa, of which the identity is uncertain.

Of course neither his main works i.e the Prastana traya nor any of the prakarana grantha-s talk or even refer to tantra, except for a passing mention of Pashupata and Pancharatra.

I'm not aware of any works of him, sadly, apart from SV Ratna- sutras, that as i remember do not deal either with samaya or kula.

The Subhagodaya stuti of Gaudapadacharya deals with the concept of Samaya and Kaula. He clearly mentions the Shubha Agama Panchaka and does not talk about Kaula in flattering terms. This work was known to be commented upon by Amritananda natha (not devipuram teacher).

In samaya outer things are there (rituals, rules, regulations), it is on duality level.

This is what Gaudapadacharya says about Samaya in Subhagodaya stuti, which is also found in the Shubagama panchaka of which the later is supposed to be of hoary antiquity.

1)He makes it clear that there is no outer worship in for samayins.
2)Says that shubhagama pachaka is what they follow
3)places Samaya above Kula
4)For samayins their body itself is the Shrichakra.
A quote from one of the Shubhagama panchaka-s, the Sanatkumara samhita while talking about samayin-s says, "external worship should not be resorted to by samayin-s and that external worship is for kaula-s, kapalika-s and kshapanaka-s".

The Cinacara tantra does mention rules about Samayachara but adds that just by knowing about Samayachara one attains siddhi and jivanmukti.

In the Kaulavali, in the shanti stava in 8th ullasa at one point it says "May the nectar like blessings of the Yoginis fall on the followers of Samaya and their curses on the enemies thereof."

That stotra talks about Kaula being the highest and also makes the above statement about Samaya followers. This stotra doesnt talk about any other Achara other tan these two.

The Sharada catusshati by Jnanananda natha is known to summarize the main doctrine advanced in the Subhagama Panchaka.

Gaudapadacharya obviously will belong to 7 th century. Considering that Abhinava lived in 10 th century which meaning is to be considered original and older? Kashmiri tradition is older than 10 century - Abhinava was not the first one. As he stated himself in TA, what he wrote is the complete manual of the Kashmiri tantrism. No doubt, his school goes back to at least 6 or 7 century.

Same with Gaudapadacarya. His 7 th century work talks about the Shubhagama Panchaka and the superiority of Samaya and he clearly notes that it is from sampradaya, meaning that, what he says was established a couple of centuries before 7 th century.

I know that. And the same Bhaskararaya was propagating vamachara and for that was opposed by other brahmans...

There are some orthodox ones who opposed and some orthodox ones who did not. But note that even being a Kaula, Bhaskara raya thinks very highly of Samaya(whatever he had in mind). And he is not the only one to do so. There were people who thought like him long before the seventh century.

Furthermore, the Paramananda tantra, which is not some stray tantra but is commented upon by a great Shri Vidya upasaka by name Maheshvarananda natha with the title Saubhagya Sandoha Vyakhya says that Dakshina, Kaulikam, Para matam, Samaya all are considered sattvic. I was not aware of this commentary. Is this Maheshvarananda same Krama (not SV) master as the author of Mahartha-manjari of 13 century?

In the introduction part nothing is mentioned about Mahartha_Manjari. Either the editor forgot or maybe they are just two different people.

Navjivan Rastogi, Lucknow University Hemen Chakravarti, Varanasi Must be know to U if U deal with the study of tantrism, eh?

I heard only about the first one. I thought you are going to name Mark Dyckjowski too.

No doubt there is SOME sexual practices in dakshinachara - for the MARRIED person. However as i mentioned SOME sources say that even 5M is there (i didn't say that is the utmost truth of all traditions LOL).

Fine. Opinion is a little different in South where it is not associated with 5M but some seem to have practices in shmasana (burial ground) etc. Probably some Northern Dakshinachara folk include 5M. Yet i am not. "Uttara" has that meaning as well, not only "northern" :)))))); U should have seen the dictionary before commenting...

Yes of course as can be gathered from names like Anuttara amnaya and Anuttara Parambika etc. I made a wrong guess that the usage might be an outcome of ignorance.

Thus, kaula is above samaya and it exceeds samaya.

Exactly the opposite can be said by looking at Shubagama Pachaka and Subhagodaya stuti.

DB wrote : I know that this statement may annoy some, because in general it has seemed to me (whether stated explicitly, or in tone only) that the Samayachari feels very much superior to the Kaula. Fine, let them feel superior.

There is overflowing evidence to say the opposite too i.e that Kaulas feel superior to Samayin-s All you need to do, to recognise that is to read the messages in this very list. In reality the door swinged both ways.

Devi Bhakta
Dear Satish:
Thank you (and Arjuna and Sarabhanga) for your thoughts on this. I think, after all the sound and fury, an awful lot is said in this final exchange:

ARJUNA: Thus, kaula is above samaya and it exceeds samaya.
SATISH: Exactly the opposite can be said.
The whole circular conversation matches proof for proof -- finally coming back to the idea that all the paths lead to the same Truth. And that we waste a tremendous amount of valuable time and energy trying to prove that one is "superior" to the other, rather than using that time and energy to practice the path for which we so strongly profess to prefer.

Vivekananda taught, "As soon as a man stands up and says he is right or his church is right, and all others are wrong, he is himself all wrong. He does not know that upon the proof of all the others depends the proof of his own. ... It is like trying to fit one coat to all sizes and growths. I do not deprecate the existence of sects in the world. Would to God there were 20 millions more, for the more there are, there will be a greater field for selection. What I do object to is trying to fit one religion to every case. ... We must each have our own individual religion, individual so far as the externals of it go."

By the way, I am not pretending that I am somehow above the fray. There's another interesting exchange:

DB: It has seemed to me ... that the Samayachari feels very much superior to the Kaula.
SATISH: There is overflowing evidence to say the opposite too i.e that Kaulas feel superior to Samayin-s.
Again, the conversation becomes a circle. In re-reading the thread from beginning to end, in fact, I finally understood why it gave me such a headache: It's like watching a pingpong game from too close a vantage point. One risks a nasty case of whiplash!

*** All you need to do, to recognise that [i.e. Kaulas professing to have the superior system] is to read the messages in this very list. ***

Yes, I am aware that the overall orientation of this list is Kaula rather than Samayin. That's as it should be I suppose; there are already lists that lean Samayin. Let each path celebrate its unique beauty and perspective.

Kochu
My dear all:
eko satya vipraaH bahudhaa vadanti.
"The truth is one the wise call it by many names". {here please note the use of the word vipraaH - for wise not brahmins}

We can find thousands of references extolling samaya and almost the same extolling kaula. But we find that Lakshmidhara's parampara is almost non existant - even those who call themselves samayins trace (mostly) their parampara to others.

Let each stream exist and prosper. and like Rivers all shall reach the goal.

On that note lets strive more.


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