SN 22.1 Nakulapita Sutta: To Nakulapita

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SN 22.1 Nakulapita Sutta: To Nakulapita

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:47 am

SN 22.1 Nakulapita Sutta: To Nakulapita
translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Bhaggas at Crocodile Haunt in the Bhesakala Grove at the Deer Park. Then the householder Nakulapita went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "Lord, I am a feeble old man, aged, advanced in years, having come to the last stage of life. I am afflicted in body & ailing with every moment. And it is only rarely that I get to see the Blessed One & the monks who nourish the heart. May the Blessed One teach me, may the Blessed One instruct me, for my long-term benefit & happiness."

"So it is, householder. So it is. The body is afflicted, weak, & encumbered. For who, looking after this body, would claim even a moment of true health, except through sheer foolishness? So you should train yourself: 'Even though I may be afflicted in body, my mind will be unafflicted.' That is how you should train yourself."

Then the householder Nakulapita, delighting in & approving of the Blessed One's words, rose from his seat and — bowing down to the Blessed One and circumambulating him, keeping him to his right — went to Ven. Sariputta and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Ven. Sariputta said to him, "Your faculties are clear & calm, householder, your complexion pure. Have you had the opportunity today of listening to a Dhamma talk in the presence of the Blessed One?"

"How could it be otherwise, lord? I have just now been sprinkled by the Blessed One with the deathless ambrosia of a Dhamma talk."

"And how were you sprinkled by the Blessed One with the deathless ambrosia of a Dhamma talk?"

"Just now I went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As I was sitting there I said to him, 'Lord, I am a feeble old man, aged, advanced in years, having come to the last stage of life. I am afflicted in body & ailing with every moment. And it is only rarely that I get to see the Blessed One & the monks who nourish the heart. May the Blessed One teach me, may the Blessed One instruct me, for my long-term benefit & happiness.'

"When this was said, the Blessed One said to me, 'So it is, householder. So it is. The body is afflicted, weak, & encumbered. For who, looking after this body, would claim even a moment of true health, except through sheer foolishness? So you should train yourself: "Even though I may be afflicted in body, my mind will be unafflicted." That is how you should train yourself.' That's how I was sprinkled by the Blessed One with the deathless ambrosia of a Dhamma talk."

"But why didn't it occur to you to question the Blessed One further: 'In what way is one afflicted in body & afflicted in mind? And in what way is one afflicted in body but unafflicted in mind?'

"I would come from a long way away to hear the explication of these words in Ven. Sariputta's presence. It would be good if Ven. Sariputta himself would enlighten me as to their meaning."

"Then in that case, householder, listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the householder Nakulapita responded.

Ven. Sariputta said: "Now, how is one afflicted in body & afflicted in mind?

"There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person — who has no regard for noble ones, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma; who has no regard for men of integrity, is not well-versed or disciplined in their Dhamma — assumes form (the body) to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair over its change & alteration.

"He assumes feeling to be the self, or the self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in the self, or the self as in feeling. He is seized with the idea that 'I am feeling' or 'Feeling is mine.' As he is seized with these ideas, his feeling changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair over its change & alteration.

"He assumes perception to be the self, or the self as possessing perception, or perception as in the self, or the self as in perception. He is seized with the idea that 'I am perception' or 'Perception is mine.' As he is seized with these ideas, his perception changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair over its change & alteration.

"He assumes (mental) fabrications to be the self, or the self as possessing fabrications, or fabrications as in the self, or the self as in fabrications. He is seized with the idea that 'I am fabrications' or 'Fabrications are mine.' As he is seized with these ideas, his fabrications change & alter, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair over their change & alteration.

"He assumes consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness. He is seized with the idea that 'I am consciousness' or 'Consciousness is mine.' As he is seized with these ideas, his consciousness changes & alters, and he falls into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair over its change & alteration.

"This, householder, is how one is afflicted in body and afflicted in mind.

"And how is one afflicted in body but unafflicted in mind? There is the case where a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones — who has regard for noble ones, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma; who has regard for men of integrity, is well-versed & disciplined in their Dhamma — does not assume form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form. He is not seized with the idea that 'I am form' or 'Form is mine.' As he is not seized with these ideas, his form changes & alters, but he does not fall into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair over its change & alteration.

"He does not assume feeling to be the self...

"He does not assume perception to be the self...

"He does not assume fabrications to be the self...

"He does not assume consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness. He is not seized with the idea that 'I am consciousness' or 'Consciousness is mine.' As he is not seized with these ideas, his consciousness changes & alters, but he does not fall into sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, or despair over its change & alteration.

"This, householder, is how one is afflicted in body but unafflicted in mind."

That is what Ven. Sariputta said. Gratified, the householder Nakulapita delighted in Ven. Sariputta's words.
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Re: SN 22.1 Nakulapita Sutta: To Nakulapita

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:47 am

22.1 Nakulapita
Translated by Bhikkhu Ñanananda
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... passage-16

Thus have I heard. The Exalted One was once staying in the territory of the Bhaggas, at Crocodile-haunt in Bhesakala Grove in the Deer Park. Then the householder Nakulapitaa came to the Exalted One, saluted him and sat down at one side.

Seated at one side, the householder Nakulapitaa said thus to the Exalted One: "Lord I am a decrepit old-man, aged, far gone in years. I have reached the last stage of my life. I am sick in body and always ailing. It is rarely that I get the opportunity to see the Exalted One and those monks whose very sight is edifying. Let the Exalted One admonish and instruct me, so that it will conduce to my weal and happiness for a long time to come."

"True it is, true it is householder, that your body is sickly, soiled and cumbered. For, householder, who would claim even a moment's health, carrying this body about, except through sheer foolishness? Wherefore, householder, thus you should train yourself: "Though my body is sick, my mind shall not be sick." Thus, householder, must you train yourself."

Then Nakulapitaa, the householder, rejoiced in and appreciated the words of the Exalted one, and rising from his seat he saluted the lord circumambulated him by the right, and then approached the venerable Saariputta. Having approached and saluted him, he sat down at one side. And the Venerable Saariputta said thus to the householder Nakulapitaa who was seated at one side: "Clear are your faculties, householder; pure and clean is the complexion of your face. Have you had the opportunity today to listen to a talk of Dhamma from the very presence of the Exalted One?"

"How could it be otherwise, venerable sir? I have just been sprinkled with the nectar of a talk of Dhamma by the Exalted One."

"And in what way, householder, were you sprinkled with the nectar of a talk of Dhamma by the Exalted One?"

"Well Venerable Sir, I went to the Exalted One, saluted him and sat down at one side. As I sat thus, Venerable Sir, I said to the Exalted One: 'Lord, I am a decrepit old-man, aged, far gone in years. I have reached the last stage of my life. I am sick in body and always ailing. It is rarely that I get the opportunity to see the Exalted One and those monks whose very sight is edifying. Let the Exalted One admonish and instruct me, so that it will conduce to my weal and happiness for a long time to come.'

"When I spoke thus, Venerable Sir, the Exalted One said to me: 'True it is, true it is, householder that your body is sickly, soiled and cumbered. For, householder, who would claim even a moment's health, carrying this body about, except through sheer foolishness? Wherefore, householder, thus you should train yourself: "Though my body is sick, my mind shall not be sick.' Thus, householder, must you train yourself."'

"Thus it was, Venerable Sir, that I have been sprinkled with the nectar of a talk of Dhamma by the Exalted One."

"But did it not occur to you, householder to question the Exalted One further? Thus: 'Pray, how far, Lord, is body sick and mind is sick too? And how far is body sick and mind not sick?'"

"I would travel far indeed, Venerable Sir, to learn the meaning of this saying from the presence of the Venerable Saariputta. It is good if the Venerable Saariputta should think it fit to expound to me the meaning of this saying."

"Well then, listen, householder; apply your mind thoroughly and I will speak."

"Even so, Venerable Sir," said householder Nakulapitaa in response to the Venerable Saariputta.

TheVenerable Saariputta thus spake: "And how is body sick, householder, and mind sick too?

"Herein, householder, the untaught average person, taking no account of the noble ones, unskilled in the doctrine of the noble ones, untrained in the doctrine of the noble ones, taking no account of the good men, unskilled in the doctrine of the good men, regards form as self, or self as having form, or form as being in self or self as being in form. 'I am form' says he; 'form is mine'; and is obsessed with that idea. Even as he is so obsessed, that form changes, becomes otherwise, and owing to the change and transformation of form, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair.

"He regards feeling as self, or self as having feeling, or feeling as being in self, or self as being in feeling. 'I am the feeling' says he; 'feeling is mine'; and is obsessed with that idea. Even as he is so obsessed, that feeling changes, becomes otherwise, and owing to the change and transformation of feeling, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair.

"He regards perception as self, or self as having perception, or perception as being in self, or self as being in perception. 'I am perception' says he; 'perception is mine'; and is obsessed with that idea. Even as he is so obsessed those formations change, become otherwise, and owing to the change and transformation of formations, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair.

"He regards formations as self, or self as having formations, or formations as being in self, or self as being in formations. 'I am the formations' says he; 'formations are mine'; and is obsessed with that idea. Even as he is so obsessed those formations changes, become otherwise, and owing to the change and transformation of formations, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair.

"He regards consciousness as self, or self as having consciousness, or consciousness as being in self, or self as being in consciousness. 'I am consciousness' says he; 'consciousness is mine'; and is obsessed with that idea. Even as he is so obsessed that consciousness changes, becomes otherwise, and owing to the change and transformation of consciousness, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair.[45]

"That, householder, is how body is sick and mind is sick too.

"And, householder, how is body sick, but mind not sick?

"Herein, householder, the well-taught noble disciple, who discerns the noble ones, who is skilled in the doctrine of the noble ones, well-trained in the doctrine of the noble ones, who discerns the good men, who is skilled in the doctrine of the good men, well trained in the doctrine of the good men, regards not form as self, nor self as having form, nor form as being in self, nor self as being in form. He says not 'I am form'; he says not 'form is mine'; nor is he obsessed with that idea. That form of him who is not so obsessed, changes, becomes otherwise, but owing to the change and transformation of form there do not arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair.

"He regards not feeling as self, nor self as having feeling, nor feeling as being in self, nor self as being in feeling. He says not 'I am the feeling; feeling is mine'; nor is he obsessed with that idea. That feeling of him who is not so obsessed, changes, becomes otherwise, but owing to the change and transformation of feeling there do not arise in him, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair.

"He regards not perception as self, nor self as having perception, nor perception as being in self, nor self as being in perception. He says not 'I am perception; perception is mine'; nor is he obsessed with that idea. That perception of him who is not so obsessed, changes, becomes otherwise, but owing to the change and transformation of perception there do not arise in him, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair.

"He regards not formations as self, nor self as having formations, nor formations as being in self, nor self as being in formations. He says not 'I am the formations; formations are mine'; nor is he obsessed with that idea. Those formations of him who is not so obsessed, changes, becomes otherwise, but owing to the change and transformation of formations there do not arise in him, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair.

"He regards not consciousness as self, nor self as having consciousness, nor consciousness as being in self, nor self as being in consciousness. He says not 'I am consciousness; consciousness is mine'; nor is he obsessed with that idea. That consciousness of him who is not so obsessed, changes, becomes otherwise, but owing to the change and transformation of consciousness there do not arise in him, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair. Thus householder, body is sick but mind is not sick."

Thus spake the Venerable Saariputta, and the householder Nakulapitaa
rejoiced in the words of the Venerable Saariputta.

Notes

[45] These are the twenty types of 'personality-view' (sakkaayadi.t.thi: lit. 'the body-in-being view') which comprise all possible annihilationist and eternalist views. 'Sakkaya' is the notion that 'body' exists — 'body' here referring to that vaguely conceived pattern into which a living organism bundles up the totality of his experiences. This basic assumption that one is an organic whole, becomes articulate in the twenty types of 'personality-views.' There the pattern seeks justification and recognition through the a priori category of self (attaa), which delegates to itself the exhaustive task of 'sorting-out' the elusive bundle. Though the attempt is unsuccessful, the prospect of success sustains the unending process of sorting out. The twenty types depict the ingenuity of the mind in its resolve to sustain that process.
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Re: SN 22.1 Nakulapita Sutta: To Nakulapita

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:49 am

Notes from Bhikkhu Bodhi's Translation.

III. The Book of the Aggregates (Khandhavagga)
See also: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=345&p=88300#p88300

Examination of the five aggregates plays a critical role in the
Buddha's teaching for at least four reasons. First, because the five
aggregates are the ultimate referent of the first noble truth, the
noble truth of suffering, and since all four truths revolve around
suffering, understanding the aggregates is essential for understanding
the four Noble Truths as a whole. Second, because the five aggregates
are the objective domain of clinging and as such contribute to the
causal origination of future suffering. Third, because the removal of
clinging is necessary for the attainment of release, and clinging must
be removed from the objects around which its tentacles are wrapped,
namely, the five aggregates. And fourth, because the removal of
clinging is achieved by wisdom, and the kind of wisdom needed is
precisely clear insight into the real nature of the aggregates.

Notes for SN 22.1

Nakulapita means "Nakula's father". He and his wife were "the most
trusting of lay disciples".

Of the 20 types of identity view the Commentary states that the
identification of each aggregate individually with the self is the
annihilationist view, while the other views are variants of
eternalism. BB disagrees: "... eternalist view can clearly be
formulated by taking the individual mental aggregates as the self
..."

The "well-taught noble disciple..." in this Sutta is a standard
description of a stream enterer.
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Re: SN 22.1 Nakulapita Sutta: To Nakulapita

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:03 pm

OK, since obviously readers are not studying enough, here are some questions to answer:

1. Considering the following passage, explain why some of the self views can be interpreted as annihilationist, and others as eternalist.
"Herein, householder, the untaught average person, taking no account of the noble ones, unskilled in the doctrine of the noble ones, untrained in the doctrine of the noble ones, taking no account of the good men, unskilled in the doctrine of the good men, regards form as self, or self as having form, or form as being in self or self as being in form. 'I am form' says he; 'form is mine'; and is obsessed with that idea. Even as he is so obsessed, that form changes, becomes otherwise, and owing to the change and transformation of form, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair.


2. Considering the following passage, is the Buddha saying that even his body is sick?
For, householder, who would claim even a moment's health, carrying this body about, except through sheer foolishness?


3. For the Pali experts: Vens. Thanissaro both set the scene "at Crocodile-haunt". Bhikkhu Bodhi does not translate the Pali term. Should it be taken literally as stating that the Buddha is staying with the crocodiles?

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Re: SN 22.1 Nakulapita Sutta: To Nakulapita

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:44 pm

Any thoughts?

:anjali:
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Re: SN 22.1 Nakulapita Sutta: To Nakulapita

Postby Ytrog » Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:04 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Any thoughts?

:anjali:
Mike


I'm still thinking about it, but for me it seems to be that when you see yourself as the form, then when the form ends so do you. At least, in your view.
Even as he is so obsessed, that form changes, becomes otherwise, and owing to the change and transformation of form, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair.

To me it seems that one who would adhere to such views would not see himself as changing and when he does change he is in sorrow about it.

As for the second: I would say that no body is without pain, sometimes an empty stomach, becoming old, etc. So no body is without it's ailments. Sick would not be the right way to put it, but it is never completely healthy. At least, that's what I think it means.
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.


mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments


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Re: SN 22.1 Nakulapita Sutta: To Nakulapita

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:07 pm

Thanks Ytrog,

What about eternalist views? Do you agree with Bhikkhu Bodhi's assertion that:
"... eternalist view can clearly be formulated by taking the individual mental aggregates as the self
..."

?
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Re: SN 22.1 Nakulapita Sutta: To Nakulapita

Postby Ytrog » Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:56 pm

I was trying to say that there apparently was an eternalist view, because you wouldn't otherwise grief when you change. Apparently the one described clings to a view that he never grows old, which would be eternalist.

mikenz66 wrote:What about eternalist views? Do you agree with Bhikkhu Bodhi's assertion that:
"... eternalist view can clearly be formulated by taking the individual mental aggregates as the self..."

?


Tricky one...
I'm not sure about this. Is there anything that states why Bhikkhu Bodhi had this opinion?
If it means taking only the mental aggregates as self (and not form) then maybe he would argue that you identify with the process that causes kamma and rebirth, then maybe you identify with the result after rebirth as well. One could argue that this is eternalist as you would in essence be preserved with each rebirth, however if you assume that every being will at least in some undefined future birth become an arhant then this process has an end and would ultimately be annihilist as well. It would only be in a very distant rebirth probably, but it would end.
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.


mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments


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Re: SN 22.1 Nakulapita Sutta: To Nakulapita

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:17 am

Ytrog wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:What about eternalist views? Do you agree with Bhikkhu Bodhi's assertion that:
"... eternalist view can clearly be formulated by taking the individual mental aggregates as the self..."

?


Tricky one...
I'm not sure about this. Is there anything that states why Bhikkhu Bodhi had this opinion?

Here is Bhikkhu Bodhi's note from pp1044-1045 of his translation.
Bhikkhu Bodhi wrote:Spk [the commentary] states that the identification of each aggregate individually with the self is the annihilationist ivew (ucchadaditthi), which the other views are variants of eternalism (sassataditthi); thus there are five types of annihilationism and fifteen of eternalism. To my mind this is unacceptable, for eternalist view can clearly be formulated by taking the individual mental aggregates as the self. It also seems to me questionable that a view of self must implicitly posit one (or more) aggregates as the self; for a view of self to have any meaning or content, it need only posit a relationship between a supposed self and the aggregates, but it need not identify one of the aggregates as self. According to the Buddha, all such positions collapse under analysis. See the "considerations of self" section of the Mahanidana Sutta (DN II 66-68).


The passage Bhikkhu Bodhi refers to is the Delineations of a Self section of Ven Thanissaro's translation http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.15.0.than.html).
Delineations of a Self

"To what extent, Ananda, does one delineate when delineating a self? Either delineating a self possessed of form and finite, one delineates that 'My self is possessed of form and finite.' Or, delineating a self possessed of form and infinite, one delineates that 'My self is possessed of form and infinite.' Or, delineating a self formless and finite, one delineates that 'My self is formless and finite.' Or, delineating a self formless and infinite, one delineates that 'My self is formless and infinite.'

"Now, the one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as possessed of form and finite, either delineates it as possessed of form and finite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become possessed of form and finite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self possessed of form and finite obsesses him.

"The one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as possessed of form and infinite, either delineates it as possessed of form and infinite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become possessed of form and infinite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self possessed of form and infinite obsesses him.

"The one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as formless and finite, either delineates it as formless and finite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become formless and finite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self formless and finite obsesses him.

"The one who, when delineating a self, delineates it as formless and infinite, either delineates it as formless and infinite in the present, or of such a nature that it will [naturally] become formless and infinite [in the future/after death], or he believes that 'Although it is not yet that way, I will convert it into being that way.' This being the case, it is proper to say that a fixed view of a self formless and infinite obsesses him.

See also Sati's wrong view in MN 38 for an example of Bhikkhu Bodhi's observation that "eternalist view can clearly be formulated by taking the individual mental aggregates as the self."
http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ta-e1.html
Sati wrote: 'As I know the Teaching of the Blessed One, this consciousness transmigrates through existences, not anything else'


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Re: SN 22.1 Nakulapita Sutta: To Nakulapita

Postby Ytrog » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:38 am

I'll look into this. I haven't run into the term delineation before (within the tipitaka). What is, in brief, meant with it?
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.


mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments


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Re: SN 22.1 Nakulapita Sutta: To Nakulapita

Postby Ben » Sun Sep 26, 2010 6:57 am

mikenz66 wrote:Thanks Ytrog,

What about eternalist views? Do you agree with Bhikkhu Bodhi's assertion that:
"... eternalist view can clearly be formulated by taking the individual mental aggregates as the self
..."

?


Hi Mike

I think both eternalism and nihilism make the same error that one of the aggregates, or a combination or all aggregates are the self. The eternalist pov states that the self transmigrates after death whereas the nihilist posits that there is complete extinction of the self at death. The Buddhadhamma instead sees the aggregates as aggregates 'of clinging', bases from which suffering arises - possibly as a direct result of the mistaken view that those very same aggregates are self.
Just some mad rambling thoughts...
metta

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