Jayadvaita undoes Prabhupada’s work on Gita Manuscript

Jayadvaita Swami -- The changer of Srila Prabhupada's books

ISKCON now distributes a Bhagavad-gita that contains more than 5,000 unauthorized changes. Srila Prabhupada gave all his classes from his original Bhagavad-gita As It Is and read from this book personally on a daily basis and listened to his disciples read from it, and commented on the philosophical points as they read. With the exception of a couple of obvious typographical errors, Prabhupada never at any point of time ordered that his Bhagavad-gita be changed. He most certainly did not authorize the production of a revised and enlarged edition of his book.

Jayadvaita Swami agrees that Srila Prabhupada did not ask him or anyone else to “revise and enlarge” his Bhagavad-gita As It Is. So how did it happen? Where did the authority come from for ISKCON’s current “Revised and Enlarged” edition? It seems just after Srila Prabhupada left our material vision, Jayadvaita thought it was a good idea to revise and enlarge Prabhupada’s Gita, so he did it.

“Comparing each verse in the book with the text of the manuscript, I made only those changes that to me seemed worthwhile. I tried to be conservative and not make needless changes.”
(Jayadvaita’s letter to senior devotees, October 25, 1982)

And what is his “authority” for this you may ask? As he said in the letter to senior devotees, “the text of the manuscript.” “I have made it closer to the original manuscript.”

And what is this so-called “original manuscript”? You can see it here.

This is not a manuscript at all. It is the first draft of the book. No author intends that the first draft of his book be published. He appoints an editor and together they work on the book to produce the manuscript which will ultimately be submitted to the publishers. In this case,  Prabhupada wrote the first draft and then worked with Hayagriva and other editors to prepare the manuscript for his Bhagavad-gita As It Is, which was ultimately presented to Macmillan & Co. for printing.

Imagine you write the first draft of a book and appoint an editor. You work with your editor on a daily basis for months until together you produce a manuscript you are happy with and your book is published. Your book becomes a worldwide best seller and you are very happy with it. It is a spiritual book and by reading it many of the readers have life-changing experiences. They also become very attached to your book. Your book is praised by scholars worldwide with rave reviews. Then many years later, after you have left your body, somebody finds the first draft of your book and decides to “correct” your published book based on your first draft. Of course you were never intending to publish this first draft. That is why you spent so much time and energy working with your editor on that first draft to transform it into a manuscript you actually wanted to present to the publishers. How angry would you be with this fool who wants to undo your work and your editors’ work by going back to the first draft?

Jayadvaita Swami, by going back to the first draft, is eliminating so many corrections and so much work that Srila Prabhupada personally did on his book with Hayagriva and his other editors. This is a great disservice to Srila Prabhupada.

The Swami is insisting that his version of the history of the editing of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is is correct. And what is his version of the history? He has turned to “smoke and mirrors” to try and bewilder the devotees into believing a false history. In the “history according to Jayadvaita’s imagination”, Srila Prabhupada only typed and dictated the first draft of his Bhagavad-gita As It Is and handed it over to his editors and did not work with his editors on the book. In this way he claims the first draft that he has is authoritative and he is justified in changing the printed book if he can find something different in the first draft.

On his website he debunks “The myth that Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva together carefully reviewed the completed text of Bhagavad-gita As It Is“. He does this by debunking a statement by Govinda dasi, who saw Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva working together on editing Prabhupada’s books in 1968 in Los Angeles. Prabhupada and Hayagriva were actually working together on editing Srimad-Bhagavatam at that time. And according to Jayadvaita, that “proves” that Prabhupada and Hayagriva did not work together on editing the Gita. Strange logic, but we are expected to believe the Swami anyhow.

In a recent blog post [ “Book Changes: History Really Does Back the BBT“] Jayadvaita continues to try and distort and change the history:

“And so the image of Srila Prabhupada sitting with Hayagriva in December of 1968 carefully going over every verse of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, seeing to the finishing touches, is a persistent image of something that never took place. That’s the truth. Here’s the timeline. See for yourself.” (Jayadvaita Swami)

Then he goes on to present many quotes from Srila Prabhupada that are supposed to prove that Srila Prabhupada did not work with his editors on the Bhagavad-gita As It Is at all. However, Krishna slipped one quote into his article that completely blows his cover:

December 14, 1967: Srila Prabhupada writes Rayarama, “I have already sent you the purports of each and every sloka that you sent me for correction. . . . As soon as you finish the Gitopanisad business and the matter is handed over to the Macmillan Co. we begin on the Bhagavatam work without delay.”

Here Jayadvaita is letting us know that Rayarama, while he was editing Bhagavad-gita, was in constant contact with Srila Prabhupada and was asking many questions about the editing, which Srila Prabhupada was answering. “I have already sent you the purports of each and every sloka that you sent me for correction.” So even with Rayarama’s editing he was asking Prabhupada many questions and Prabhupada was sending him many corrections to his “first draft”. None of these corrections by Srila Prabhupada are present in what Jayadvaita refers to as “the original manuscript.” This alone completely destroys any justification for using this document as any sort of authority, as it does not include the many corrections that Srila Prabhupada made to it while Rayarama was working on editing his Bhagavad-gita.

The real world is quite different from Jayadvaita’s imaginary world. Even though the Swami constantly says, “It’s not true!” Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva did work together for almost three months in 1967 editing Bhagavad-gita As It Is, during this period Hayagriva Prabhu was consulting Srila Prabhupada daily on almost every verse in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It’s not a myth, it’s history, and this history completely destroys any justification at all for changing Prabhupada’s Gita based on Prabhupada’s first draft of the book (or the “original manuscript”, as the Swami calls it).

If you ask Jayadvaita about this he will lie and tell you: “It could not have happened. Prabhupada and Hayagriva were never living together. It’s an Internet myth…” All lies and deception, unfortunately. It is frightening to think that such a deceptive, dishonest character has been given full authority to change anything at all he wants to change in Prabhupada’s books without any system of checks and balances at all. He can change anything, print the changed books without even disclosing what he has changed. And he smiles and says, “You just have to accept it…”

The proof that Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva worked together daily editing Bhagavad-gita for almost three months in 1967 can be found in Hayagriva Prabhu’s wonderful book, “The Hare Krishna Explosion”:

January 17, 1967: Prabhupada arrives in San Francisco from New York. Hayagriva Prabhu is there to meet him. Prabhupada is still translating Bhagavad-gita and Hayagriva is there with him:

“Swamiji continues translating Bhagavad-gita. He is so eager to print it that we begin negotiations with a local printer. Prices are very high. In New York, Brahmananda continues his pursuit of publishers.”

So Hayagriva is negotiating on Srila Prabhupada’s behalf with a local printer to print Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Finishing his translation of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, working with Hayagriva Prabhu to edit it and getting it printed are clearly the most important projects on Srila Prabhupada’s agenda at this time.

Hayagriva is still in San Francisco on January 29th, two weeks later, for the big concert featuring the Grateful Dead.

Hayagriva is still with Srila Prabhupada in San Francisco in February:

“The days of February are beautiful with perfect temperatures in the seventies, fog rolling off early, skies very blue and clear, sun falling bright and sharp on the lush foliage of Golden Gate Park. The park encloses the largest variety of plant and tree life to be found in any one spot on earth. We are at a loss to identify plants for Swamiji.”

Hayagriva has settled down in the ISKCON San Francisco temple (a storefront near Golden Gate Park) and he is working there:

“I rent an electric typewriter, set it up in the back temple room, and continue typing up stencils for Back To Godhead, writing and editing [Bhagavad-gita] while Harsharani sends people after food, and cooks noon prasadam.”

Hayagriva is the only devotee living in the San Francisco temple and is the “Temple Commander”:

“Being the only person living in the temple proper, and one of the senior devotees besides, I’m naturally looked to as the temple commander, a role I often find myself regretting.”

All this time Hayagriva is living with Srila Prabhupada and his main service is editing Bhagavad-gita:

“Apart from kirtans, I find myself spending many sunny hours in the park, walking past the tennis courts to large, quiet bowers surrounded with hybiscus and eucalyptus. And at times I sit in the shade beneath the white and pink rhododendrons and edit Bhagavad-gita. After editing, I sometimes visit the museum and stroll through the replica eighteenth century gardens, chanting my daily rounds while perusing the curlicues of rococo art.”

Hayagriva is still in San Francisco together with Srila Prabhupada on February 27th. This is now six weeks in the personal association of Srila Prabhupada, working with him editing his Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

He is still there with Srila Prabhupada in March:

“Golden Gate Park is redolent with March flowers. The morning fog disperses early, and the days are cloudless and blue. Thousands continue to flock to San Francisco from the midwest and east, and our Sunday kirtans attract big crowds… On Tuesday evenings, we go to the beach with Swamiji and hold unforgettable Pacific Ocean sunset kirtans. Sitting on the sand, we watch the tide roll in, or chant and wait for the sun to dip below the horizon. After chanting, we roast potatoes and smear them with melted butter. Swamiji eats with us, sitting on a big log. And after potatoes, we roast marshmallows, and red apples stuffed with raisins and brown sugar.”

All throughout this time (now over two months) Hayagriva is working editing Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is, consulting Srila Prabhupada on almost every verse:

“Although I write on the Lord Chaitanya play through the spring days, my primary service is helping Swamiji with Bhagavad-gita. He continues translating, hurrying to complete the manuscript but still annotating each verse thoroughly in his purports. Daily, I consult him to make certain that the translation of each verse precisely coincides with the meaning he wants to relate. “Edit for force and clarity,” he tells me. “By Krishna’s grace, you are a qualified English professor. You know how grammatical mistakes will discredit us with scholars. I want them to appreciate this Bhagavad-gita as the definitive edition. All the others try to take credit away from Krishna.”

“I am swamped with editing. Since much of the text is equivocal due to grammar, I find myself consulting Swamiji on nearly every verse. It seems that in Sanskrit, Hindi, and Bengali, phrase is tacked onto phrase until the original subject is lost.”

March 21: Hayagriva is still in San Francisco working daily with Srila Prabhupada on editing Bhagavad-gita As It Is… So far this is almost nine weeks constantly with Srila Prabhupada…

April 9:

“Swamiji leaves for the airport. Before entering the car, he stops, cane in hand, and gives a long look at the little storefront temple. It is a look that says a great deal. Gurudas snaps a photo at that very instant. ‘That’s a farewell look,’ I think to myself.”

So Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva worked together on editing the Bhagavad-gita daily during the almost three months while Hayagriva Prabhu was living with him in the San Francisco temple, from Janurary 17, 1967 until April 9, 1967.

Jayadvaita Swami [desperately]: “IT JUST DID NOT HAPPEN!!!”

The history is the history. Srila Prabhupada worked on the first draft of Bhagavad-gita As It Is extensively with both Hayagriva Prabhu and Rayarama Prabhu. In the three months Hayagriva went through practically every verse with Srila Prabhupada and Prabhupada also sent many corrections to Rayarama Prabhu later on.

At that time Macmillan were only able to print 400 pages, so Rayarama abridged Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Prabhupada was not happy with this and wanted to publish the complete edition. Hayagriva was again called on by Srila Prabhupada for producing the manuscript, which was submitted to Macmillan for the publication of the complete 1,000 page edition in 1972. At this time there were at least exchanges of letters between Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva and Prabhupada was still giving him many instructions related to the editing and answering the questions he had in regard to the editing.

So Jayadvaita’s “history” that Srila Prabhupada did not work with his disciples on editing Bhagavad-gita is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. It is a dishonest attempt to mislead the devotees and cover-up the real history.

The authoritative edition of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is is the final published 1972 “Complete Edition.” Not the first draft that Jayadvaita calls the “manuscript.” Srila Prabhupada spent considerable time, energy and effort working with his editors Hayagriva Prabhu and Rayarama Prabhu to take his first draft to the real manuscript — the manuscript which was submitted for publishing to MacMillan.

Changes to the final published book cannot be justified by referring to the first draft. This is a great mistake.

People are not so foolish. The truth is the truth. Eventually Jayadvaita’s smoke and mirrors will stop working and the blind followers will wake up and see the truth.

Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

Your servant,
Madhudvisa dasa

32 thoughts on “Jayadvaita undoes Prabhupada’s work on Gita Manuscript

  1. Thank you Prabhu for clarifying the matter. What has the BBT trustees and GBC have to say about this? On whose authority did Jayadvaita Swami do this? Its mind boggling.

    1. Hare Krishna Ramasarana Prabhu

      Please accept my humble obeisances. All gories to Srila Prabhupada!

      For many years Jayadvaita and BBT lied to us saying that basically all they had done was to correct some errors made by the original editors. And he has since made so many lies to support his changes which have basically mostly been exposed now. Jayadvaita even thinks he can completely contradict the recorded history and people will believe him…

      But the truth will prevail in the end. Jayadvaita openly admits he has no aithorization from Srila Prabhuapda to do this work of “Revising and Enlarging” his books. If you know him he just gives you one of those “I don’t care I did it anyway and you can’t do anything to stop me” looks…

      It is mind boggling. That the GBC and the BBT can just let people like Jayadvaita and Dravida make any changes they want to Prabhuapda’s books and then the BBT will print the books without having any idea at all what has been changed! It really is mind-boggling. Hard to believe anyone could be so foolish to let this happen… But unfortunately it happened…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Your servant

      Madhudvisa dasa

      1. Madhudvisa prabhu, hari bol, I just read where you said that JAS has his own reasons for doing this editing work. What are they, in your opinion ? Secondly i have in hand the 1998 BBT publication named “Responsible Publishing”, and thought it interesting to ask you to give your take on this so called justification for editing.
        satyahit das

        1. Hare Krishna Satyahit Prabhu

          Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

          I do not know Prabhu, what Jayadvaita’s actual reasons for making all these changes are. I only know that it is completely insane in many, many cases. You just cry. If you read the original text in Prabhuapda’s original books and then read what Jayadvaita has done to it. It is insane. 99% of the time there is no detectable problem at all in the original book. But he just changes it. Why he does this when Srila Prabhupada so much stressed the importance of not changing I can not understand Prabhu.

          To me it is insane. Totally insane. I can find no justification at all for the majority of the changes. Sure there are a hand full of real typographical errors, there is no way any justification at all for the thousands of changes he has made and mostly you can not detect any improvement form any point of view and in so many cases he has changed the philosophy in subtle or not-so-subtle ways and simply mangled so many of Prabhupada’s clear transcendental points.

          It is a disaster.

          This “Responsible Publishing” is complete nonsense Prabhu. It is not responsible to make thousands of completely unnecessary changes which do not improve the book in any way and in many cases damage it when Prabhupada clearly ordered that there should be no changes.

          It is another insanity. Trying to call this responsible.

          So my conclusion is that Jayadviata is either insane or he has some other devious motives as to why he wants to destroy the authority of Prabhupada’s books.

          You can ask him but of course he will not tell you the truth. He tells so many lies. How can we trust a person who tells so many lies and must either be insane or have some devious motivation for making unnecessary changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books?

          You just have to look at the original and what he has changed it to. If we are kind we can call him insane, if we are not so kind we would have to suspect he has more devious motivations for the changes.

          Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

          Your servant

          Madhudvisa dasa

  2. I read much of the information on your site and i am truly amazed at what has happened. But if the presentation was more to the facts and less of a personal grind on Jayadvaita Swami it might be more effective. Also, letting your readers draw their own conclusions without concluding for them might make the whole presentation more dignified. That’s just my opinion but hey, the world loves a good fight!

    I hate voting on anything but if it ever came to a vote i would certainly vote to return to the original Bhagavad-gita As It Is. I never distribute or recommend anyone to read anything else but the originals of Srila Prabhupada. I do recommend other books by other authors but when asked about the ‘book changes’ i always recommend reading the originals of Srila Prabhupada whenever possible. My favorite of all are the first three volumes of Bhagavatam that Prabhupada brought to America on the Jaladutta. Even the poor language structure and misspelled words in those original volumes adds to the charm [Srila Prabhupada did want those corrected and they were]. The purity and the urgency of Srila Prabhupada’s translations and purports shines through like millions of Suns!

    If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

  3. Hare Krishna Madhudvisa dasa!

    I have purchased the original Bhagavad Gita As It Is last year and it has completely changed my life. Although I am somewhat naive regarding ISKON and have never been to a temple, I chant daily and try to live through and for Krishna! (Not Easy Though!) Soon I plan to purchase the Srimad Bhagavatam and it would be greatly appreciated if there was a way to verify the original ten volume edition that A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Because it is a great monetary investment, I want the original and not some revised edition from some self interested “Guru”. Please help me Mhdusdvisa dasa! I want to serve the Blessed Lord as intended by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and not serve the Lord with blind ignorance. It is bad enough that I am not acquainted with devotees, so I don’t want to be mislead.
    May Krishna Krishna Bless You, Madhudvisa dasa!

    Your most Solitary and Humble Servant, paul

  4. Hare Krishna Prabhuji.
    Thank You for the work you have done.

    I have purchased Bhagvad-gita recently. While purchasing Bhagvad-gita As It Is, I noticed that the size has increased but since I am new to this movement and did not know about this incident, I did purchase it. And I have checked all that you have mentioned in my copy. It is definitely the revised edition.

    Can you suggest me now how can I get the original copy? I do not want to be misled after knowing this.

    Hare Krishna.

  5. Hare Krishna.

    C.C.Adi 2.86:

    “Mistakes, illusions, cheating and defective perception do not occur in the sayings of the authoritative sages.”

  6. Hare Krishna
    I’m 2nd generation devotee, initiated by Prabhupada’s disciple.
    I’ve come in contact with Bh.Gita’s translation, not even English publication… I’m almost positive that 1st published translation in polish language was also based on original Gita as it is, but I have to dig very hard to find it. I took part in book distribution but we distributed revised version of Gita.
    Just recently, one devotee opened my eyes about the changes
    you are posting in details… very sad, very. I’ve got now
    original version and compare them …
    I noticed the changes on verse 2.13 dhirah-self-realized vs. sober person but there are more…

    Have you (or anybody) openly presented this subject to GBC ?
    What was the response ?

    1. Hare Krishna Pandava Prabhu

      Yes. We have presented the book changes to the GBC but they support the changing of Prabhupada’s books. They want to change Prabhupada’s books unfortunately. That is a very great problem…

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

    2. There is a big difference between sober and self realized..you are right prabhu….Just because you might be sober doesnt make you self realized.All Glories TO HIs Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad.

  7. Hare Krishna Prabhuji,
    Please advise where we can check the changes on Srimad Bhagavatam as I have a copy of the pocket edition and want to ensure before I start reading that it is the original version.

  8. Hare Krishna Madhudvisa Prabhu,
    please accept my humble obeisances
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada,

    Prabhuji, thank you very much in enlightening me about the great blunder that has been made regarding the ‘revised and enlarged’ Bhagavad-Gita. Indeed it is not the Bhagavad-Gita As Is Is. Srila Prabhupada so many times instructed and preached that we should accept the transcendental message ‘as it is’ without any addition or subtraction. But unfortunately, somehow or the other it has happened. A very sad state indeed! So many millions of Gitas are being distributed by the devotees but unfortunately all of them are not ‘As It Is’.
    Prabhuji, how can we ISKCON devotees distribute the original ‘As It Is’ Bhagavad-Gitas now? Is there any way for you to make them available in bulk to all the devotees who need them for distribution?
    Also Prabhuji, since i stay in India, i was thinking that the Bhagavad-Gita in Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, and other languages must also be the translated version of the ‘Revised and Enlarged’ edition of the Gita. So Prabhuji, i am ready to translate the original ‘As Is Is’ Bhagavad-Gita into Hindi, which is the national language of India. If you desire so then kindly give me your permission and blessings to translate it. Also, once translated how to arrange for printing and publishing?
    Kindly reply.
    Awaiting your reply.

    Again i offer my unlimited gratitude to you for your spotless dedication to Srila Prabhupada’s mission.
    Thank you very much.

    your indebted servant,
    Prahlad bhakta das

    1. Hare Krishna Prahlada Bhakti Prabhu

      Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

      BBT in Mumbai are already printing Prabhupada’s original 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is. You can purchase cases of it from them. KBI are also printing their original Prabhupada Books in India and they are available through ISKCON Bangalore. So the original books are already being printed there in India, you just have to organize to distribute them.

      As far as Hindi, Prabhupada’s original Gita was already translated into Hindi, you do not need to translate it again, just find the original Hindi translation. But really translations of Prabhupada’s books will never be the original books. If one is really serious about reading Prabhupada’s books and studying his teachings he needs to learn English and read in English and you know English, along with Hindi, are national languages of India. So Prabhu I think it is best to just concentrate on distributing Prabhupada’s original English books in India. Every intelligent person in India practically can read English.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Your servant

      Madhudvisa dasa

  9. Dear Madhudvisa Prabhu,

    i have come to know that there have been changes to the Necatar of Devotion also. Do you know what are those changes?

  10. Hare Krishna Prabhu
    Please accept my humble obeisances. All gories to Srila Prabhupada!
    It is almost 2 AM ( I am in India) and my sleep has literally vanished reading this most unfortunate trickery done by this Jayadviata , i am new to Krishna Consciousness and i was about to start my Gita in a little time but when i compared my copy i found it is the changed one and not the original !
    I am really panicking if all the books have been changed like this , especially the Bhagwatam which i intend to read next , please guide me as to how i can find the original books , i am really panicked with this as misguided knowledge can be even more harmful than no knowledge. Please help.

    1. Hare Krishna Prabhu

      Prabhupada’s original Gita, the 1972 edition, should be available now from every ISKCON temple, at least in India. It is printed by the BBT so it should be available from every ISKCON temple. At least as far as I am aware the Srimad-Bhagavatam being printed by BBT is stil the 1978 edition. Unless they have done it in the last year or so they have not changed the Bhagavatam. Only they have added bogus rubbish to it after the end of Prabhupada’s translation at Canto Ten Chapter Thirteen. But before then you should have Prabhupada’s original Bhagavatam from the BBT.

      Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!

      Madhudvisa dasa

  11. Hare Krishna Prabhu

    Please accept my humble obeisances. All gories to Srila Prabhupada! Without whom I would feel myself to be less than worthy…

    I feel compelled to comment that Prabhupada’s original 1972 edition has some special crafting of English language semantics that code deeper revelations on the subject matter at a subconscious level that could only have been applied in collusion with an native English editor. This embodiment is essential because the original texts are coded similarly. Any change no matter how minor has the potential to corrupt the underlying messages and dilute the process, something Prabhupada was acutely aware of as he knows that Lord Krishna has to re-establish the truth once it becomes perverted and Lord Krishna tells us he has reinstated it many times!

    Either Jayadvaita is unaware of this fact, something I find extremely unlikely as even without devotee association I am aware of it OR he is intentionally undoing Prabhupada’s work.

    Chant Hare Krishna, be enlightened and happy!

  12. Hare Krishna Prabhu
    Please accept my humble obeisances. All gories to Srila Prabhupada!

    I feel compelled to comment that Prabhupada’s original 1972 edition has some special crafting of English language semantics that code deeper revelations on the subject matter at a subconscious level that could only have been applied in collusion with an native English editor. This embodiment is essential because the original texts are coded similarly. Any change no matter how minor has the potential to corrupt the underlying messages and dilute the process, something Prabhupada was acutely aware of as he knew that Lord Krishna has to re-establish the truth once it becomes perverted and Lord Krishna tells us he has reinstated it many times!

    Either Jayadvaita is unaware of this fact, something I find extremely unlikely as even without devotee association I am aware of it OR he is intentionally undoing Prabhupada’s work.

    Chant Hare Krishna and be enlightened!

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