Rama-navami – Appearance of Lord Shri Ramachandra

China, 2 April 2019

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Today I want to speak about Lord Ramachandra because Rama Navami is coming very soon. You must observe Rama Navami Tithi. Lord Ramachandra established all the rules and regulations of the society. Without following the instructions of the Ramayana or Lord Ramachandra, no one can enter shuddha bhakti. Are you observing Rama Navami or not? I am requesting you to please observe this day. One has to know who Lord Rama is and how Lord Rama manifested His lilas in this material world. Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Svayam Bhagavan. Did you know this? Shrimad Bhagavatam explains,

ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ
kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam

(SB 1.3.28)

Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and all of His manifested incarnations have different forms. Rama, Nrisimha, Varaha and Kalki are all incarnations of Krishna.

rāmādi-mūrtisu kalā-niyamena tisthan
nānāvatāram akarod bhuvanesu kintu
kṛṣṇaḥ svayam samabhavat parāmah pumān yo
govindam ādi-purusam tam aham bhajāmi

(Brahma Samhita 5.39)

[“I worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, who is always situated in various incarnations such as Rāma, Nrsimhadeva and many sub-incarnations as well, but who is the original Personality of Godhead known as Krishna and who incarnates personally also.”]

The Brahma Samhita also very nicely explained how Lord Rama, Nrisimha, Kalki and Varaha are incarnations of Lord Krishna and Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But there are no differences between Krishna, Rama or all His incarnations. The same Krishna manifests different forms from the transcendental world. Krishna manifests in Vaikuntha dhama in the form of Lord Narayana with four hands holding a shankha, chakra, gada, and padma. The same Krishna also manifested as the form of Lord Ramachandra in Ayodhya. Have you seen a picture of Lord Ramachandra? How many hands does He have? Does He have four or eight hands? Two. You have to learn these things because some of you have now been practicing for many years. Everyone has to learn about Krishna, Rama, Nrisimha and about all the incarnations of Krishna. Ramachandra is called kshatriya. He always holds a bow and arrow in His hand and He also remains with His consort Sita Devi. If you chant Sita-Rama then your life will be successful. One should first enter into Ramachandra’s lilas.

sita ram sita ram sita ram kahiye
jahi vidhi rakhe ram tahi vidhi rahiye
(1)

(Sita Ram kahiye)

[‘Sing Sita Rāma Sita Rāma Sita Rāma! Whatever circumstances and conditions of life Śrī Rāma has offered you, always live happily in them’.]

What is the meaning of this song? Tulasi Das, who wrote Rama-charita-manasa in Hindi, here explained you should always chant rama-nama. Rama-nama is very easy to chant. Krishna-nama is very difficult to chant, but rama-nama is very easy. I have previously spoken on the glories of rama-nama. Valmiki Rishi wrote the Ramayana in Sanksrit verses, but prior to this he was dacoit. Do you understand what a dacoit is? He was thief. Due to the association of Narada Rishi, he became a great devotee of Lord Ramachandra.

If you recall, on our first day I glorified Valmiki Rishi. His previous name was Ratnakar and his father’s name was Chavana Rishi. Chavana rishi putra nama ratnakar‘ – the son of Chavana Rishi, Ratnakar, had committed many sinful activities. But with the association of Narada Rishi he became a great devotee of the Lord and chanted rama-nama. He previously could not chant rama-nama because he committed so many sinful activities. Instead, he chanted the syllables oppositely, then eventually he became great devotee. What were these opposite syllables of Rama that he chanted? Mara, which means death, dead bodies. Do you understand? According to Indian customs, dead bodies are considered very inauspicious.

ulta nam japat jag jana, 
balmiki bhai bharam samana

(Rama-charita-manasa)

[‘From the word ‘Mara’, you can also obtain Bhagavan Rama.]

Tulasi Das explains, as a dacoit, Ratnakar could not chant rama-nama. So Narada Rishi told him, “Ok, you can just chant the syllables of Rama oppositely.” What are the opposite syllables of Rama? As I just mentioned, Mara. Narada Rishi told Ratnakar, “You can chant, Mara, Mara, in place of Rama, Rama. Do you understand? Just chant Mara, Mara, Mara, Mara.” Rama-nama is very easy to chant and also very sweet. The grantha states,

ulta nam japat jag jana, 
balmiki bhai bharam samana

‘Sita rama sita rama sita rama kahiye’ – always chant Sita-Rama, Sita-Rama. Gurudev, Shrila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja told before he associated with Gaudiya Vaishnavas, he was a pure devotee of Lord Ramachandra. Gurudev spoke on how he was born in a high class brahmana family, Tiwari family. According to the traditions of his village, all the people chanted rama-nama. Gurudev said, “First, I was the devotee of Lord Rama. Then by the causeless mercy of Lord Rama, I have come in the mission of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.” So do not neglect chanting rama-nama or worshipping Lord Rama. Especially on His appearance day, Rama Navami. The Lord is one, but He manifests many forms. Do not think Rama is one Lord and Krishna is another Lord. The same Krishna manifests in the form of Lord Ramachandra in Ayodhya. Do you understand?

sita ram sita ram sita ram kahiye
jahi vidhi rakhe ram tahi vidhi rahiye
(1)

You can stay anywhere according to providence, still, always chant rama-nama. Brahma is called the creator of all living entities. So you must also show respect towards Brahmaji, who creates all the living entities. Do you understand? But here, Tulasi Das explains you should always chant rama-nama,

sita ram sita ram sita ram kahiye
sita ram sita ram sita ram kahiye
jahi vidhi rakhe ram tahi vidhi rahiye
jahi vidhi rakhe ram tahi vidhi rahiye
jindiko dor so hatha vina nach ke
tu akela nahin pyāre rāma tere sātha mein
mukh me rāma nāma, rāma seva hatha me
sita ram sita ram sita ram kahiye
sita ram sita ram sita ram kahiye

Mukh me rāma nāma – With your mouth, chant rama-nama and with your hands, serve the Lord. Lord Rama’s name is very sweet. So, ‘sādhu-saṅga rāma nāma aṅga aṅga raṅgiye’ – with the association of a sadhu, one can become absorbed in rama-nama. ‘Kiya abhimān to vi mān nahī payega hoga vahi pyāre jo śrī rāmaji ko bhayega’ – we want many kinds of name, fame and reputation, but we they are unattainable without the mercy of Lord Ramachandra. Because Lord Ramachandra is also the Supreme Controller. So, ‘kiya abhimān to vi mān nahī payega hoga vahi pyāre jo śrī rāmaji ko bhayega’ – that means whatever Rama desires, will be performed. Try to understand this. Will you take prasad today or not? If Ramachandra desires this, then you can take prasad, otherwise you can not. This is true. It could be that you are going to take prasad, then suddenly a call comes from your house and you have to quickly leave. Since Lord Rama did not desire, you would not be able to take the prasad.

Shastras explain Krishna knows whatever will happen. ‘Krishna taha jane‘. You do not know what will happen today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or any day. Do you understand? But Ramachandra is Bhagavan, He knows everything, He is the Supreme Controller. Try to understand this philosophy. Still, you should always perform good work. Chant the holy names and give up all the fruits from your actions or activities, otherwise known as your karma. ‘Fāl āsha tyāga śubha kama karte rahiye’ – always perform good karma. What is considered good karma? Helping and nourishing people in different ways. Our scriptures explain one has to give charity and donations in different ways. But you also have to chant rama-nama. Then all of your karma, fruits of action will be destroyed. If you chant vishnu-nama 1000 times, it is equal to chanting one rama-nama. If you chant rama-nama three times, it is equal to chanting one krishna-nama. If you chant krishna-nama 100 times, it is equal one radha-nama. Bolo Radhe Radhe Radhe Jai Jai Jai Shri Radhe!

Why I am saying this? Because radha-nama is very powerful. ‘Radha nama parama sukhadai’ – if you chant Radha’s names you will get so much pleasure in your heart. Do you understand? Returning, I want to tell you about Ramachandra and how He appeared in this material world to perform His lilas. Narada Rishi once performed hard austerities and meditated on the Lord. While he closed his eyes and meditated, Cupid appeared in front of him. Cupid is also known as Kamadeva. Due to the potency of Mahamaya, all living entities are completely illusioned by Kamadeva. The threefolds of maya are very powerful. There are three activities of maya, they are called sattvik, rajasik, tamasik. Some of the qualities of being sattvik, in the mood of goodness, are your mind become neat and quiet and you help many people. If your mood is contaminated with the mood of passion, then many false egos will come in your heart. This is called rajasik. If your heart is contaminated with tamasik, the mood of ignorance, then lust, enviousness and laziness will come in your heart. Understand this? Maya’s three gunas are very powerful. So, Narada Rishi was performing hard austerities and meditating on the Lord. In the meantime, Cupid or Kamadeva, sat in front of him and paid his obeisances.

Then Narada Rishi opened his eyes and Kamadeva or Cupid said, “Hey Narada Rishi, you have conquered me. I have been completely defeated.” Then Narada Rishi became very proud of this. Narada Rishi began thinking, “I have now conquered lust, and anger. I have conquered Kamadeva.” Then Narada Rishi visited Brahmaji in Brahmaloka and told Brahmaji, “I have conquered Kamadeva, I have conquered lust.” Then Brahmaji replied, “How is this possible? I am your father and I cannot even conquer lust. How can you possibly conquer lust?” Then Narada Rishi became very upset and left. He then arrived to Kailash and went in front of Shivaji and said, “Oh my elder brother, I have conquered lust.” Shivaji replied, “I am your elder brother, I cannot conquer lust. How is it possible that you have conquered lust?” Do you understand? Only Vishnu can conquer lust, no one else can conquer lust. Bhagavan is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, only Lord Vishnu can conquer lust. Shivaji honestly told him, “Hey Narada Rishi I cannot conquer lust and I am your elder brother. How can you possibly conquer lust?” But Narada Rishi was absorbed in so much false ego and left. Then he came to Vaikuntha dhama and told Lord Vishnu, “Lord Vishnu, I have conquered lust.”

Lord Vishnu only smiled, he did not immediately say anything to him. Afterwards, Lord Vishnu glorified him, “Oh Narada Rishi, you have also conquered lust. This is very good.” One of Lord Vishnu’s qualities is He will destroy any kind of false ego that arises in any one of his devotee’s hearts. So Lord Vishnu realized that Narada Rishi actually has not conquered lust. Only because of his false ego he was thinking, “I have conquered lust.” Lord Vishnu began thinking, “I will have to operate his heart. He has so much false ego. He is now thinking, ‘I have conquered the lust.’ I must operate his heart.” After Narada Rishi met with Lord Narayana, he returned to this material world. On his return, Lord Vishnu’s Yogamaya manifested a very nice and beautiful marriage ceremony. There was a very beautiful festival taking place for this marriage ceremony. In that marriage ceremony, the bride would choose the groom herself. Narada Rishi became very surprised when he entered the place where the ceremony was occurring. Narada Rishi saw a very beautiful bride there. She was very attractive, with beautiful eyes, hands, legs and nose. Do you understand? Then Narada Rishi’s heart became completely what? Intoxicated with lust.

So Narada Rishi was thinking, “I have to marry her. But I think she will not want to marry me because I am not as beautiful as her.” So Narada Rishi returned back to Vaikuntha dhama and told Lord Narayana, “Hey Lord Narayana, give me Your beautiful face.” He asked this because Lord Vishnu’s face is what? Unique and unparalleled. Lord Vishnu is always in a youthful form, very beautiful and attractive. So Narada Rishi asked Lord Vishnu, “Hey Lord Vishnu, give your beautiful face to me.” Lord Vishnu is Bhagavan, He knows the heart of Narada Rishi. Lord Vishnu just told Narada Rishi, “Ok, I will give you that which is best for you.” Lord Vishnu did not directly tell him, “I am giving My beautiful face to you.” Rather, Lord Vishnu said, “I will give you that which is best for you.” So Narada Rishi was thinking, “Oh Lord Vishnu has given me the form of His very beautiful face.”

Narada Rishi eagerly returned to the marriage ceremony festival and sat himself in front of the bride. Like I mentioned earlier, in this ceremony the bride has to choose her husband. At that time the bride took one garland and began looking at everyone in the assembly house. Narada Rishi became very eager and thought, “This bride will offer the garland to me, then I will marry her.” So the bride took the garland and saw Shivaji and Brahmaji there. The bride thought, “Oh Shivaji is not eternal and neither is Brahmaji.” What are Shivaji’s and Brahmaji’s gunas? Tama guna and raja guna. The qualities, gunas of Brahmaji and Shivaji are called the moods of ignorance and passion. Because of this, the bride was thinking, “Shivaji will not be my groom.” Then she came in front of Brahmaji and also thought, “Brahmaji is also not qualified to marry me.” What is the mood of Brahmaji? Raja guna, the mood of passion. In this way, the bride groom continued her search. Eventually she realized no one there was qualified to marry her.

Then Narada Rishi very quickly came in front of the bride and contemplated, “This bride will have to offer this garland on my neck.” But when bride noticed Narada Rishi, she saw he was not attractive. In the meantime, Lord Vishnu appeared at the marriage ceremony. The bride then offered the garland to Lord Vishnu. She sat on the back of Garuda and went with Lord Vishnu to Vaikuntha dhama. After seeing this Narada Rishi became very upset and said, “Oh Lord Vishnu cheated me.” Then all the demigods and demigoddesses began joking with Narada Rishi, “Hey Narada Rishi go see how beautiful your face is.” So Narada Rishi stood in front of a mirror and saw he had the face of a monkey. Do you understand? A monkey’s face, he was very unattractive. Then Narada Rishi became very angry with Lord Vishnu and said, “Oh Vishnu cheated me.” Narada Rishi cursed Lord Narayana, “I am feeling so much separation from this bride. You will have to feel this same pain of separation.”

Then Lord Vishnu asked, “Hey Narada Rishi why did you curse me?” Narada Rishi answered, “You cheated me. So I have given this curse to You. You must be separated from Your consort. Then You will realize how painful it is.” Narada continued, “You gave me the face of a monkey. So You will have to rely on the cooperation of monkeys for You to meet again with Your consort.” Because of this curse, Lord Ramachandra appeared in this material world with His consort Sita Devi and performed His sweet human being lilas in Ayodhya. He was the son of Dasharatha Maharaja. Dasharatha Maharaja had three queens. Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra. But they did not have any sons. So Dasharatha Maharaja performed a fire sacrifice to attain a son, that is called putreshti yagnya. For the sacrifice he prepared a very nice sweet rice. Then Dasharatha Maharaja offered that sweet rice to his three queens. The three queens, Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra became pregnant when they ate the sweet rice. Kaushalya gave birth to Lord Ramachandra, Kaikeyi to Bharata and Sumitra gave birth to two sons, Lakshman and Shatrughna. Remember the mother of Lord Ramachandra. Who is the mother of Lord Ramachandra? Kaushalya. You have to remember, do not forget. Have you heard Rama’s lila before? You may have heard but you have forgotten these things. Do not forget the father and mother of Lord Ramachandra.

I will briefly continue this Ramayana katha because time is almost finished. There are many lilas from the Ramayana and we only have about twenty minutes left. These rama-lilas are very beautiful. The Ramayana and Mahabharata both contain very beautiful lilas. What lilas are going on in the Ramayana and Mahabharata? They are always fighting each other and killing demons. In the Mahabharata there is also a big quarrel between the Pandavas and Kauvaras. Do you understand? What is the meaning behind this? In our lives, we are also always fighting each other and even our mind is always fighting itself. A fight between your good and bad mind. Everyday fights are also occurring in your family’s home. Everybody needs to listen to the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Do you understand? Listen to this rama-katha very carefully. I can only briefly and lightly speak these topics to you. If I begin elaborating, your head will start spinning.

So Rama, Bharata, Lakshman and Shatrughna grew up in the palace of Dasharatha Maharaja in Ayodhya. Then Ramachandra, Bharata, Lakshman and Shatrughna all learned shastras from Vasishtha Rishi. After His youth, Ramachandra married Sita Devi. Remember who Ramachandra was in His previous life? Lord Vishnu. And who was Sita Devi? She is the consort of Lord Rama, a direct incarnation of Lakshmi Devi. In Vaikuntha dhama, Lord Vishnu’s wife is named Lakshmi Devi. So Ramachandra married Sita Devi and His other brothers married other ladies. Bharata, Lakshman and Shatrughna all married. For example, Lakshman married Urmila. In this way, four brothers and four wives. Dasharatha Maharaja had become old and began thinking, “I am too tired to maintain my kingdom. Ramachandra will have to take charge of His country.” This is called Devaraja Ramachandra. Dasharatha Maharaja said, “Rama should be king of Ayodhya.” In those times prior to taking on the throne of Ayodhya, rishis, munis would chant many sweet names and perform abhisheka.

But Kaikeyi, the mother of Bharata, asked Dasharatha Maharaja, “You have to give me two benedictions.” Dasharatha Maharaja replied, “Yes, I will give them to you. What benedictions do you want from me?” Then Kaikeyi told him, “The first benediction I want you to give me is my son Bharata will be the king of Ayodhya, not Rama. And the second benediction is Rama will have to exile in the forest for fourteen years.” Do you understand what she asked? Remember this lila from the Ramayana. I am only briefly telling you this story as one would tell a story to a baby.

When Ramachandra heard this, He became very pleased. Ramachandra was exiled to the forest with His wife Sita Devi and brother Lakshman. Lord Ramachandra appears in this material world to establish varnashrama dharma and kill demons. In the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita Krishna says, “When the Lord appears in this material world, He performs two activities.” Since demons contaminated the varnashrama dharma, the Lord would manifest to re-establish varnashrama dharma, kill all of the demons and protect the sadhus. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says this verse,

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ
vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām
dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya
sambhavāmi yuge yuge

(BG, 4.8)

In Bhagavad Gita, Krishna told Arjuna, ‘paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ’ – I appear in this material world to first protect the sadhus. ‘Vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām’ – and to kill all of the demons. Because demons, asuras, disturb sadhus and others. So the Lord must re-establish varnashrama dharma in this material world,

yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham

(BG, 4.7)

The Shrimad Bhagavad Gita also gives evidence of this. Now Lord Ramachandra was very happy to go into exile in the forest. Because Lord Ramachandra knows, “I am Bhagavan and I have to kill the demons. I especially have to rescue my devotees who now have become demons.” Who are those pure devotees of Lord Rama that are now demons? They were called Ravana and Kumbhakarna. Actually Ravana and Kumbhakarna were in Vaikuntha dhama in the form of Jaya and Vijaya, they were security guards or door keepers for the gates of Vaikuntha.

Once the four Kumaras arrived in Vaikuntha. At that moment Jaya and Vijaya stopped them from entering. The four Kumaras, brahmacharis, cursed Jaya and Vijaya, “You have to go the material world and become demons. You have to become demons for at least three lives.” Now they are Jaya and Vijaya, but in Satya Yuga they became Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. Narashimha Chaturdashi is coming soon; you must also listen to how Lord Narashimhadeva killed Hiranyakashipu. In their first lives, during Satya Yuga, Jaya and Vijaya became demons in this material world in the form of Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. In their second lives, during Treta Yuga, the same Jaya and Vijaya became the demons Ravana and Kumbhakarna. In their third lives, during Dvapara Yuga, Jaya and Vijaya appeared as two demons in the form of Shishupala and Dantavakra. So returning, Lord Ramachandra was very happy to be exiled in the forest. Why? Because Ramachandra knows in the future He will kill the demons and especially liberate His pure devotees Jaya and Vijaya, who have now appeared in Lanka in the form of Ravana and Kumbhakarna.

So Ramachandra entered the forest with His consort Sita Devi and His brother Lakshman. When they were staying in Dandakaranya, the king of Lanka, Ravana, kidnapped Sita Devi. Then Ramachandra fought against Ravana and Kumbhakarna. Ramachandra also killed many demons prior to Him fighting against them. If you read the Ramayana, you will understand how Lord Ramachandra also killed many other demons. Try to understand who is called a demon and who is called a demigod. Our scriptures explain, those who are atheists are called demons,

dvau bhūta-sargau loke ’smin
daiva āsura eva ca
viṣṇu-bhaktaḥ smṛto daiva
āsuras tad-viparyayaḥ

(Padma Purana)

The Bhagavad Gita and Padma Purana contain the same verse. Those who are devotees of Lord Krishna or Rama are called demigods or demigoddess and those who are complete atheists are called demons. What does being an atheist mean? It means they have no faith in God and are always enjoying material sense gratifications in a complete mood of ignorance. These type of people are called demons. So now, Ravana was a demon because he was a great atheist. Do you now understand? Where are atheists’ philosophies coming from? From Ravana. A popular slogan today is, “Drink and be merry.” This is an example of atheist philosophy. If you have no money, all you have to do is kill someone and just steal their money. You can do as you like. But make sure to enjoy all kinds of sense gratifications because when you die, your body will be burned in the fire. How you can return after this? You can enjoy as much as you like while you are in this body. These are some of the philosophies found in atheism.

There are two kinds of philosophies, gnostic and agnostic. Similarly, there are atheist philosophies and theist philosophies. So atheists are actually called demons and Ravana was a great atheist. He enjoyed many kinds of sinful activities. His kingdom name was named Shri Lanka. Do you know of Shri Lanka? You can travel from Hong Kong to Shri Lanka in just one flight, it is not so far from here. Ravana’s kingdom at the time was golden, suvarna Lanka. He had stolen all the wealth and money from so many different places and used it to make his kingdom golden. There he enjoyed all sorts of sinful activities. For this regard, he is called the rakshasa. Do you understand the meaning of rakshasa? A demon. He was eating meat, drinking alcohol, killing the cows, killing the brahmanas, killing the sadhus and enjoying all kinds of material sense gratifications.

When Ramachandra was staying in Dandakaranya with Sita Devi and His brother Lakshman, Ravana came and kidnapped Sita Devi. Then Ramachandra felt the bank of separation from his wife. Do you understand? Since Narada Rishi had given Him this curse, “One day You will have to feel separation from Your consort.” Because of this curse, Ramachandra felt the bank of separation from his wife Sita Devi. Ramachandra went and gathered an army of many monkeys. Headed by Hanuman, the foremost member from the army of monkeys. Lord Ramachandra also made a friendship with Sugriva. In this way, Lord Ramachandra gathered an army of monkeys and attacked Shri Lanka. After many battles between Ravana’s and Ramachandra’s parties, Lord Ramachandra finally killed Ravana and rescued Sita Devi from his clutches. After fourteen years passed, Ramachandra returned to Ayodhya with Sita Devi. Then Ramachandra became the king of Ayodhya. His brother Bharata offered the kingdom of Ayodhya back to Lord Ramachandra. Bolo Ramachandra ki’ Jai

I have only briefly covered some of Rama’s katha. If you want further elaboration, you can read the Ramayana. Rama’s kathas are even mentnioned in the Shrimad Bhagavatam. Shukadeva Goswamipada spoke ramakatha to Parikshit Maharaja in the ninth canto. There are many kinds of demons in our hearts. What kinds of demons are in our hearts? Lust, anger, enviousness and jealousy. But if you chant rama-nama or krishnanama, all these demons will be destroyed. So chant krishnanama and rama-nama.

bolo sita ram sita ram sita ram kahiye
sita ram sita ram sita ram kahiye
jahi vidhi rakhe ram tahi vidhi rahiye
jahi vidhi rakhe ram tahi vidhi rahiye
jaya radhe jaya krishna
jaya radhe jaya krishna

You have to study and learn Rama’s katha. Then you can enter the Shrimad Bhagavatam’s kathamritam. Do you understand? You must all remember the stories of Lord Rama from the Ramayana. Do not forget the kathas from the Ramayana’s. Gaur Premanande Hari Hari bol!

Transcriber: Sanatan das (USA)

Editors: Divya Premamayi dasi (Slovakia), Sanatan das (USA)

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