“காதற்ற ஊசியும் வாராது காண் கடைவழிக்கே” 

The title – “காதற்ற ஊசியும் வாராது காண் கடைவழிக்கே” “Kaadhatra Oosiyum Vaaraadhu Kaan Kadaivazhikkae”meaning, This eyeless needle is useless and will not go to the market. And, even this useless needle will never accompany you in your final destiny (after death). These verses that changed Pattinathar’s life.

நாபிளக்க பொய்யுரைத்து நவநிதியம் தேடி நலனொன்றும் அறியாத நாரியரைக் கூடி 
பூப்பிளக்க வருகின்ற புற்றீசல் போல 

புலபுலென கலகலெனப் புதல்வர்களை பெறுவீர் 

காப்பதற்கும் வகையறியீர் கைவிடவு மாட்டீர் 

கவர்பிளந்த மரத்துளையிற் கால்நுழைத்துக் கொண்டே 

ஆப்பதனை அசைத்துவிட்ட குரங்கதனை போல 

அகப்பட்டீரே கிடந்துழல அகப்பட்டீரே


Naapilakka Poiuraiththu Navanidhiyam Thaedi

Nalanondrum Ariyadha Naariyarai Koodi

Poopilakka Varugindra Puttreesal Pola

Pulapulena Kalakalavena Pudhalvargalai Peruveer

Kaapadharkkum Vagai Ariyeer Kaividavum Maateer

Kavarpilandha Maraththulaiyil Kaalnuzhaithu Kondae

Aapadhanai Asaithuvitta Kurangadhanai Pola

Agappatteerae Kidanthuzhala Agapatteerae

meaning, You gather all the nine kinds of wealth by uttering lies until your tongue gets split. You get together with women who don’t even know what is good and what is bad. And like the termites that fly out cracking up the earth, you beget a lot of children. You don’t know how to save them, you won’t leave them and go away. This act is like the monkey that inserts its leg in the gap of a tree branch split up by a wedge and trying to shake that wedge.

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Recently , almost the same week, the victory of controversial US presidential candidate Donald Trump and the announcement of demonetization of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes which led to panic among investors and poor respectively, I realized that some things should be changed in the way I live my life.

The earlier mentioned disastrous events has led to heightened market volatility and though the impact of the two events is spread across asset classes, with whom I majorly conduct my business , we (Shankar* and me) were never much bothered about that impact on us, mostly because we were lost in discussions about a great sage who lived many years back in same Dravidian land that we live in now.
Till this time, I had only rarely read or heard about him in Kalki’s ‘Ponniyin Selvan’. As our discussions went intense, I fell in love with this legend.

The life history of the legendary Pattinathaar who was born as a wealthy man, but renounced everything on realization that nothing in this world is permanent. He has left us his life experiences and his realizations as songs that will serve as a reminder that one should not be attached to the materialistic possessions in this world.Tamil Nadu has a lot of poets, siddhars, sages and many wise men who have left behind their experiences as the great wealth that future generations to learn and follow. However, Pattinathaar is unique to the list of great people that Tamil has as its pride.

Pattinathar is one of the greatest Shidda poet. But unlike most of the Shiddas, he hates even his body(Shiddas are known for preserving their body).He is pessimistic,cynical and frustrated.One of the main features of his poems is his pathological hatred of women but is reasonable and relevant even today.

Similarity in Buddha , Jesus Christ, and Pattinathar

It is so interesting to note that , though there were differences in cultures and era , Jesus Christ , Buddha and Pattinathar thought in the similar lines when it comes to spirituality.

“Let us live most happily, possessing nothing.” (Dhammapada 15:4)

Greatly disturbed by the suffering he saw in the world, 29-year-old Prince Gautama Siddhartha (563-483 BC), who was later called the Buddha (enlightened one), left his wife and young child and set out on a search for the meaning of life.

You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me. (Mark 10:21)

jesus-buddha-pattinatharJesus and the Buddha agreed that pursuing ultimate happiness in transient things is futile. But they direct us to opposite solutions. The Buddha says satisfaction is treasuring no thing. Jesus says it is treasuring God. In God we get all things. In no thing we get, well, nothing.

Just like Jesus Christ and Buddha, Tamil saint Pattinathar warns us about the impermanence of life. He insists that Life is short and we must do everything good within that short period.

Pattinathar inspired me to follow him mainly because his poems are happily free from the violent denunciations of idol worship, temples, rituals, caste, Vedas, Agamas etc. which Sivavakkiyar indulges in. He has shown an excessive desire to extol the virtues of unqualified asceticism and Yogic mysticism in language that can be understood by the masses. He shows leanings towards Bhakti in his later poems. As a poet, he is far superior to Sivavakkiyar, in my opinion.

Pattinathar says:

(As in Arthamulla Indhu Madham by Kannadasan)
It is my duty to tell my life story. For some of you looking at me, you may wonder if renunciation (becoming sanyasi) at a young age is a good thing? Or is it worth it? It is my responsibility to explain family life and renunciation to all. When one becomes a sanyasi after experiencing family life, he can explain the good and bad easily to others. It will help who is entering a new phase in life.
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Renunciation at young age is good for those who decide early or for those who acquired wisdom from god. The experience won’t be same for others who doesn’t live the family life and experience it. I recommend all to immerse in family life. If it is pleasurable, continue with it. Only those who can’t stand it can come out. Maybe 1 in 100 falls in this group. then, those who teach will be less and those who listen will be more in numbers. If everyone becomes a teacher, where to search for a student?
In the family life, I didn’t stop at earning wealth, I gathered experiences too. The ships that sail out of Kaveripoompatinam (Poompuhar town) to far away countries, return with bricks of gold. I gathered my experiences standing on that shore. If the world is made of particles, i know what each particle is made of. I understood the meaning of each laugh and cry.
I could have continued my life after gathering all these experiences. But it is a big sin if I don’t share it with others. That is why i’m visiting temples and towns in this sanyasi form and teaching. I do not know where my final breath will be.

PATTINATHAR AND KANNADASAN

Thanks to Shankar for giving me a deep insight on his inspirations from Pattinathar.

As a poet, he is far superior to Sivavakkiyar. Pattinathar has a greater command over imagery and language. His poetry has sweetness, simplicity and emotional appeal. He has sung of his religion and philosophy with freedom, vigor and breadth of outlook. He has good mastery over form, especially Ahaval metre, in which some of his most brilliant poetical passages have been written. Pattinathar is the most widely read Siddhar in the Tamil language. A man on the street can pick a song, depending on the situation he is in and fully identify himself with it. The interplay between tradition and modernity has always been a driving force behind great literary works. Tamils who take great pride in their tradition have also embraced modernity as a vehicle for exposition. Kannadasan’s deep knowledge of Pattinathar, who sang about the human life and its complex dimensions, made his lyrics more appealing to the common man.

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Oru Mada Maathum (ஒரு மட மாதும்)

Pattinathar’s poem Oru Mada Maathum (ஒரு மட மாதும்), is the reason to write this blog.

Part 1 – Birth -Utarkurruvanam

Utarkurruvanam or The harmony of components parts of the Human body is a poem written by the great Cittar Patinathar. This poem retains the cynical view of life typical to him. The poem details life from an embryo to death and finally ashes. I am posting the translation of this poem in 4 parts – Life, Youth,Old Age,Death.

Non-Tamil readers please watch this YouTube video, to get this meaning right. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZP4DkP2Dr8

This beautiful translation of the Patinathar poem by Kamil Zvelebil follows,

உடற்கூற்றுவண்ணம்

ஒருமடமாதுமொருவனுமாகி,

இன்பசுகந்தருமன்புபொருந்தி

யுணர்வுகலங்கிஒழுகியவிந்து,

வூறுசுரோணிதமீதுகலந்து.

When

an infatued woman

and

and enamored man

come together

and unite in affection

which yields the pleasures of sweet passion,

out of his agitation

his white semen spurts

and springs forth

and soaks her womb

mixing with her flow,(1)
பனியிலொர்பாதிசிறுதுளிமாது,

பண்டியில்வந்துபுகுந்து

ண்டு, பதுமவரும்புகமடமிதென்று,

பார்வைமெய்வாய்செவிக[***]கைகளென்ற.

and a small drop,

not bigger than a dew drop,

enters and gyrates in her womb-

and behold,

that which was like a lotus-bud,

and like a tiny tortoise,

has eyes and body, mouth,

and ears and legs and arms,

a human shape!(2)
உருவமுமாகியுயிர்வளர்மாத,

மொன்பதுமொன்றுநிறைந்துமடந்[***]

யுதரமகன்றுபுவியில்விழுந்து,

யோகமும்வாரமுநாளுமறிந்து,

It grows, the life inside,

and after ten months

the womb of the woman opens,

and a man is born.

They set his horoscopy, his destiny,

an army of serfs around prepare his bed,(3)
மகளிர்கள்சேனைதரவணையாடை,

மண்படவுந்தியுதைந்துகவிழ்ந்து

மடமயில்கொங்கையமுதமருந்தி,

யோரறிவீரறிவாகிவளர்ந்து.

and women dress him, caress him,

and he jumps and leaps and kicks and crawls

and falls upon the floor

and turns legs up and upside down

and sucks the nectar from the breasts

which are like a pair of young peacocks.

And day by day he grows,

and gathers knowledge, this and that.(4)
ஒளிநகையூறலிதழ்மடவாரு,

வந்துமுகந்திடவந்துதவழ்ந்து

மடியிலிருந்துமழலைமொழிந்து,

வாவிருபோலெனநாமம்விளம்ப.

His wet lips with radiant smile

kiss happily the female servants; round,

he sits in their laps and babbles,

saying such simple words like

‘come’ and ‘go’ and ‘stay’

and utters a few names:

thus his speech is born.(5)
உடைமணியாடையரைவடமாட,

வுண்பவர்தின்பவர்தங்க ளொடுண்டு,

தெருவிலிருந்து புழுதியளைந்து,

தேடியபாலரொடோடிநடந்து

அஞ்சுவயதாகிவிளையாடியே.

And then he runs about,

in lovely dress, and with a belt of gems,

cats with the grown-ups,

and in the street plays games

with dust and clay,

and with his friends runs here and there

and so, in games and frolicking,

reaches the age of five.


Part 2 – Youth -Utarkurruvanam

உயர்தருஞானகுருஉபதேச,

முந்தமிழின்கலையுங்கரைகண்டு

வளர்பிறையென்றுபலரும்விளம்ப,

வாழ்பதினாறுபிராயமும்வந்து.

Then the teacher comes.

He learns the glories of his mother-tongue,

Tamil in her three shapes,

and how to write and count,

and growing up, resembles,

as so many say,

the growing crescent of the moon:

and thus he reaches sixteen years.(7)

மயிர்முடிகோதியறுபதநீல,

வண்டிமிர்தண்டொடைகொண்டைபுனைந்து,

மணிபொனிலங்குபணிகளணிந்து,

மாகதர்போகதர்கூடிவணங்க.

Praised by the poets,

with fair jewels beautified,

with a well-grooms knot of hair

and wearing garlands full of humming bees,(8)

மதனசொரூபனிவனெனமோக,

மங்கையர்கண்டுமருண்டுதிர

ண்டு,வரிவிழிகொண்டுசுழியவெறிந்து,

மாமயில்போலவர்போவதுகண்டு.

he stands in front of women,

desirous and young,

fair like the love god,

and loses his strength-

while they, who are like peacock elegant,

devour him with their fiery eyes.(9)
மனதுபோறாமலவர்பிறகோடி,

மங்கலசெங்கலசந்திகழ்கொங்கைம

ருவமயங்கியிதழமுதுண்டு,

தேடியமாமுதல்சேரவழங்கி,

He’s unable to carry his desire,

he will pursue them,

he will embrace their splendid breasts,

which are like broad round pitches firm,

and he will suck the nectar off their lips,

and senselessly spend all his properties

with them.(10)

ஒருமுதலாகிமுதுபொருளாயி,

ருந்ததனங்களும்வம்பிலிழந்து

மதனசுகந்தவிதனமிதென்று,

வாலிபகோலமும்வேறுபிரிந்து.

And then the remnants of his disappear

in suits and quarrels, action, fueds.

And soon the pleasures go,

the youthful charm,

the fires of passion freeze.(11)
வளமையுமாறியிளமையும்மாறி,

வன்பல்விழுந்திருகண்களிருண்டு

வயதுமுதிர்ந்துநரைதிரைவந்து,

வாதவிரோதகுரோதமடைந்து.

செங்கையினி்லோர்தடியுமாகியே.

Riches are lost

and all his youth is spent,

string teeth fall out

and eyes will lose their shine,

his hair grows grey

and wrinkled is his face

angers and hatred of disputes arrive.

He will now hold

an omnipresent stick

in his cold reddened hands.(12)


Part 3 – Old Age -Utarkurruvanam

வருவதுபோவதொருமுதுகூனு,

மந்தியெனும்படிகுந்திநடந்து

மதியுமழிந்துசெவிதிமிர்வந்து,

வாயறியாமல்விடாமன்மொழிந்து.

Bent with the weight of age,

he roams about,

squatting and moving like an ape,

losing his wits,

all stiff, all deaf, and almost blind,

blabbering incongruous words.(13)
துயில்வருநேரமிருமல்பொறாது,

தொண்டையு நெஞ்சுமுன்வந்துவறந்து,

துகிலுமிழந்துசுணையுமழிந்து,

தோகையர் பாலர்ககோரணிகொண்டு.

When it is time for sleep,

he coughs, his throat is dry,

and his chest is burning.

In torn rags, all numb and blunt,

mocked at by women and by boys,(14)
கலியுகமீதிலிவர்மரியாதை,

கண்டிடுமென்பவர்சஞ்சலமிஞ்ச

கலகலவென்றுமலசலம்வந்து,

கால்வழிமேல்வழிசாரநடந்து.

He wobbles’ round and his perplexity grows,

and he will fart and piss

unable to hold his urine and his stools,

he will crawl about

in filth and dirtiness.(15)
தெளிவுமிராமலுரைதடுமாறி,

சிந்தையுநெஞ்சுமுலைந்துமருண்டு

திடமுமலைந்துமிகவுமலைந்து,

தேறிகலாதரவேதெனநொந்து.

Confused and puzzled,

staggering in speech,

his thoughts and feelings wandering about,

shaking and trembling,

he will realize

that there’s no consolation in this world,

no kindness, only pain.(16)
மறையவன்வேதனெழுதியவாறு,

வந்ததுகண்டமுமென்றுதெளிந்து

இனியெனகண்டமினியெனதொந்த,

மேதினிவாழ்வுநிலாதினிநின்று

As it is written in the Vedas four,

by the Great Teachers said:

Now the great Calamity comes,

what will he do now,

whence will come the help?

There is now no more life on earth,

all he must do is to repay his debts.(17)
கடன்முறைபேசுமெனவுரைநாவு,

றங்கிவிழுந்துகைகொன் மொழிந்து,

கடைவழிகஞ்சியொழுகிடவந்து,

பூதமுநாலுசுவாசமும்நின்று.

நெஞ்சுதடுமாறிவருநேரமே.

While talking, his tongue goes to sleep,

and he talks with gestures of his hands,

soon is unable to eat

and food drips out,

and the four elements

and his breathing stop.


Part 4 – Death -Utarkurruvanam

வளர்பிறைபோலவெயிறுமுரோம,

முஞ்சடையுஞ் சிறுகுஞ்யும்விஞ்ச,

மனதுமிருண்டவடிவுமிலங்க,

மாமலைபோல் யமதூதர்கள்வந்து.

And lo, behold,

the Messenger of Death,

like a huge mountain,

shining and black shape,

all hairy, terrible,

teeth like the crescent moon-

வலைகொடுவீசியுயிர்கொடுபோக,

மைந்தரும்வந்துகுனிந்தழநொந்து

மடியில்விழுந்துமனைவிபுலம்ப,

மாழ்கினரெயிவர்காலமறிந்து.

He throws his net

and takes the life

and goes.

the others come with bowed heads,

and weep,

the wife falls in his lap and weeps,

பழையவர்காணுமெனுமயலார்கள்,

பஞ்சுபறந்திடநின்றவர்பந்த

ரிடுமெனவந்துபறையிடமுந்த,

வேபிணம்வேகவிசாரியுமென்று.

The neighbors stand around and speak:

‘Well, he was very old.’

and then they, too, disperse

like cotton in the wind;

And a few stay,

propose to build a shed.

பலரையுமேவிமுதியவர்தாமி,

ருந்தசவங்கழுவுஞ்சிலரென்று

பணிதுகில்தொங்கல்களபபணிந்து,

பாவகமேசெய்துநாறுமுடம்பை.

Then comes the Paraiyar

bringing his drum.

They wash the corpse,

dress it and anoint,

and decorate with sandal and with wreaths.

வரிசைகெடாமலெடுமெனவோடி,

வந்திளமைந்தர்குனிந்துசுமந்து

கடுகிநடந்துசுடலையடைந்து,

மாநுடவாழ்வெனவாழ்வெனநொந்து.

The youngsters come and bend and take the corpse.

and they walk swiftly till they reach

the burning ground.

what is this human life?

விறகிடைமூடியழல்கொடுபோட,

வெந்துவிழுந்துமுறிந்துநிணங்க

ளுருகியெலும்புகருகியடங்கி,

யோர்பிடிநீறுமிலாதவுடம்பை,

நம்புமடியேனையினியாளுமே.

They place the body on the pyre

and cover it with fuel, bathed in oil,

and then kindle the fire.

It burns and the fat melts,

and the limbs fall apart;

The bones, cracking and scorched,

sink down, deep down

and now the body

that was man

is hardly a handful

of ash.

Be gracious to me,

who am your slave,

o Lord, to me who trusted

this body of mine!


Poet: Patinathar


(Visited Pattinathar Samadhi/Temple, at Tiruvottiyur Chennai on 12/01/2017. ) 

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18 thoughts on ““காதற்ற ஊசியும் வாராது காண் கடைவழிக்கே” 

  1. One thing for sure that God is the truth. Jesus is the only way. There has been miracles by his name. And ive only heard of this testimonies by one true God. Jesus.

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  2. article is not good. Both are different, so how can we differentiate. Budda is light of Asia and jesus christ is the light of the world.

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  3. Buddha and Christ, the two personalities that have rerouted the course of human history; Both were born in the Asian continent, both destined to instill light and love to this world. One influenced the eastern hemisphere and the other the western hemisphere of earth. The simple human mind sees only the differences in their teachings without realizing that they were dealing with entirely different religious belief and cultural settings. This post is not meant to find the similarities but only plan to compare these two personalities on several aspects. Some aspects of them seems similar and others totally different. But in a bigger picture their purpose was the same; to instill love and light to this world.

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  4. If you compare the Death of Jesus and Buddha,

    Christ Died at the age of 33. Jesus announced his suffering and death to his disciples and they couldn’t understand it till the last minute. Jesus was charged with false claim to be the messiah of the Jews and for misleading the people. Christ’s crucifixion is seen by Christians as a blood sacrifice for the forgiveness of the sins man had committed. Jesuses disciples deserted him during the trial and crucifixion.

    On the cross Christ prayed for those who tortured and crucified him. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

    Buddha died at the age of 80. When Buddha announced his death to his disciples, they were sad and depressed. When the time came Buddha along with his most trusted disciple went to Pava. Chunda, a metal worker on hearing that Buddha was in his mangrove came to invite him for meal. Chunda prepared rice-cake and a dish of dried boar’s meat. After finishing the meal Buddha was struck with a dire sickness and sharp pain that eventually resulted in his death.

    Before death Buddha instructed Ananda no to hold Chunda responsible for his death as it was not Chunda’s fault.

    NB: Buddha was not a vegetarian. He ate any food that he was offered. He only preached not to kill or torture living thinks.

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  5. In case of Buddha it is , Cause and Effect (Karma)
    He was against the Hindu idea that some cast or races are superior than others especially the Brahmins. He taught that all are equal and that life is to be valued and honored.

    He provided the five precepts for the layman
    1. I observe the precept of abstaining from the destruction of life.
    2. I observe the precept of abstaining from taking that which is not given.
    3. I observe the precept of abstaining from sexual misconduct.
    4. I observe the precept of abstaining from falsehood.
    5. I observe the precept of abstaining from intoxicants that cloud the mind and cause carelessness.

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  6. If the teachings of Christ is summarized into one word then its “LOVE”.
    Jesus talked against the fallacies of the Jewish priests and Strengthened the 10 Commandments of the Jews by saying that not only have one committed a sin when engage in the act but also by harboring the thought to do so.
    Christ added what could be called the 11th commandment “Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself”

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  7. Lyricists wants to use new styles of lyrics every time they want to write, It is better for great witers to disclose it that they are inspired from Sangam Literatures, because it cannot be photocopied by any aspirant and passed off as his own. They should only wish to use centuries-old words in their lyrics and thereby rekindle interest in our literature.

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  8. It is so interesting to see that such people like Jesus , Buddha , Patinathar and many others existed in different cultures in different countries and continents, which no much easy communications links like we have today, but preached and followed similar thoughts.
    Love forms the basis of all these philosophers and preachers.

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  9. Jesus the Man: New Interpretations from the Dead Sea Scrolls is a book written by the Australian biblical scholar and theologian Barbara Thiering. It was first published by Doubleday in 1992 with the title, Jesus & The Riddle of The Dead Sea Scrolls: Unlocking The Secrets of His Life Story.

    Using a technique that the author calls “pesher”, she purports to have uncovered evidence in the Gospels themselves that effectively contradicts the story they narrate of Jesus and his mission. She calls this story the “surface meaning” of the Gospels, which is “for ‘babes'”, in contrast to the hidden meaning. Using this method, Thiering believes she has discovered, among other things, that Jesus was a member of the Essene community, that he survived the crucifixion, and that he married twice.

    The book was a bestseller, and has been several times reprinted. Its argument has been widely rejected by the scholarly community.

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  10. I felt that no modern words would project the emotion as well as those of the Sangam period. – Says Vairamuthu , the great tmil poet.

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  11. To start off, my favorite lyricist is Kannadasan, who I believe is eons ahead of anyone else who has written songs in Tamil cinema, including Vairamuthu (with due respect to him).

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  12. Kannadasan lived a life which encompassed all the trials and tribulations,good and bad any human being would fear to go through. He made no secrecy of all his pen chance. Yet he was able to succinctly round off his career with reflections from his experiences with Life. What seperated him from the rest was his ability to reach the layman and the Celebrity with equal felicity and impact. There could not have been a person in those times not being able to comprehend the Legend or take a faithful leaf out of his words. He will certainly be remembered as long as a true lover of tamil music and culture remains on this planet.

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  13. Kannadasan’s songs like ‘Vedu Varai Uravu and Veedhi varai manaivi and Aati Vaithan Yaaroruvan were definitely inspired from pattinathar.

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  14. Kanndasan is a legend of hi own genre… He works ike Arthamulla IndhuMadham are oneof the best literary works ever written… He has definitely been inspired by many poets who lived before him, not just Patinathar… !!! Kannadasan is definitely one of the greatest poets ever lived in our period!!!

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