The Great Zen Master Ta Hui 13

Thirteenth Discourse from the series of 38 discourses - The Great Zen Master Ta Hui by Osho.
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Nothing To Be Given

There has never been anything to give to people, only folks who have been able to point out the road for people. An ancient worthy said, “Having some attainment is the jackal’s yelp; having no attainment is the lion’s roar.”
Buddha was someone who had mastered adaptation: in the course of forty-nine years, in more than three hundred and sixty assemblies where he taught the dharma, he guided people according to their individual faculties. Thus he preached with one voice through all realms, while sentient beings each obtained benefits according to their kind. It’s like: “One gust of the east wind, and the myriad grasses all bend down.” the dharma preached by the Buddha is also like this.
If he had had the intent to create benefit in all realms, then this would have been preaching the dharma egotistically. To want to cause myriad beings to gain deliverance according to their kind – isn’t this after all impossible? Haven’t you read how Sariputta, at the assembly where the perfection of wisdom was preached, asked Manjushri, “Don’t all buddhas, the tathagatas, awaken to the realm of truth?” Manjushri said, “No, Sariputta. Even the buddhas cannot be found: how could there be buddhas who awaken to the realm of truth? Even the realm of truth cannot be found: how could it be realized by the buddhas?” See how those two men spurred each other on this way. When did they ever set their minds on anything? All the buddhas and all the patriarchs since antiquity have had a style like this in helping people. It’s just that later descendants have lost the essence of the school and set up their own individual sects, making up strange things and concocting marvels.
It is beautiful when Ta Hui simply quotes the words of the awakened ones. But the moment he brings himself in, the whole glory and the splendor is lost. He is trying hard to pretend that he is enlightened, but he cannot hide it – he cannot hide it from eyes which can look deep into his very self. It will be a great event when he realizes his pretensions.
It will not be difficult for him to become enlightened. All that he has to know is that he does not know, and that will be the immediate transformation. He knows too much and his experience is absolutely nil. but I hope that slowly, slowly he is coming closer to realize this, because now he is not adding his own statements, he is just quoting the buddhas.
The first sutra is a very ancient one it has not even originated with Gautam Buddha. Perhaps all the awakened ones have emphasized the fact – they have to because it is so real and so significant, it has to be told to the people – that the master cannot give anything to you. If he could, he would have given you everything. But as far as enlightenment is concerned it is absolutely your individual, private territory. Nobody can interfere with it.
Then what is the purpose of the master? His purpose is to take away from you things which you think you are. His purpose is negative – he simply takes away your false conceptions. And once all false conceptions are taken away from you, that which is real illuminates in all its beauty. He has not given you anything, but he has removed all the obstructions, all the hindrances which you were clinging to.
The moment you become enlightened, you will know that this experience has been always with you – just your eyes were closed. The master tries in every way, with arbitrary devices, to wake you up. Once you are awake nothing has to be said, because you are seeing yourself. And the experience of enlightenment is exactly the same.
Ta Hui is quoting the ancient sutra:
There has never been anything to give to people, only folks who have been able to point out the road for people.
The actual words of Buddha are: “I can show you the path, but you will have to travel it. I cannot travel it for you. Not that I don’t want to, but it is simply not in the nature of things.”
…able to point out the road for people. An ancient worthy said, “Having some attainment is the jackal’s yelp; having no attainment is the lion’s roar.”
On the path there are many moments when you will feel, “I have attained it, I have got it.” Remember a criterion: whenever the idea arises in you, “I have got it,” you are without any doubt wrong. The very idea, “I have got it,” means an ego achievement. You are there and some goal has been achieved. It may be some beautiful experience, but still illusory; hence: The ancient worthy says, “Having some attainment is the jackal’s yelp; having no attainment is the lion’s roar.”
On the path that moment comes when the seeker is lost, and the desire to attain anything leaves you. As you are not there, who is going to attain? When you are so simple and innocent that you cannot manage to say “I,” there is no question of attainment – because there is no attaining mind. But this is the attainment: losing everything, even the seeker. You have found what the seeker was seeking, but now there is nobody to declare it.
Then comes just a lion’s roar: a simple recognition with no word. You explode into a rejoicing, into a dance – all is lost. And when you are standing in a state of utter nothingness, from the other side all is gained.
But those words do not apply any more, and you cannot say, “I have attained it.” It is a simple recognition that it has been always with you; hence the lion’s roar.
Buddha was someone who had mastered adaptation: in the course of forty-nine years, in more than three hundred and sixty assemblies where he taught the dharma, he guided people according to their individual faculties.
Ta Hui’s statement is true. Buddha does not believe in the collective mind, he believes in individual consciousness. Perhaps he is the first man to declare that the very existence of God deprives man of his individuality. His reason for denying God is not theological – he is not an atheist. His denial of God is to declare that individual consciousness is the highest growth in existence: nobody is above it.
All the religions think that God created the world – he created man, he created woman and everything that is in the world. To Buddha it is a very insulting, humiliating idea. If God can create, he can uncreate at any moment; you are just puppets in the hands of a puppeteer. Then all talk of individuality and freedom and enlightenment is just futile. God has to be removed as a hypothesis because he is the greatest hindrance to your individuality.
Nietzsche recognized it, after twenty-five centuries, in a different context, but the realization is the same. He said, “God is dead and now man is free!” If God is still alive man cannot be free – how can you be free?
The very idea of all the religions that god created man out of mud…that’s the meaning of humus, from which comes the word human. That is also the meaning of Adam – Adam means mud. God made Adam out of mud and then breathed life into him. It is almost like creating a toy. What freedom, what individuality, what liberation exists for a puppet?
Buddha dropped the hypothesis of God twenty-five centuries before it was a great, rebellious idea. Nietzsche was only a thinker, he could not influence many people. But Buddha dropped God in favor of man’s consciousness, so that it can grow unhindered, so that his privacy is sacred and nobody can enter into it. The religions say that God is watching you every moment. In the sight of God you don’t have any privacy.

I have heard about a nun who used to take a bath in her bathroom with closed doors, but always keeping her clothes on. Other nuns became a little suspicious, “Is she a little crazy or what?” So they asked her, “What is the matter? The doors are closed, you can remove your clothes.”
She said, “But, God is omniscient. He looks every moment in every place. Are you suggesting to me to be naked before God?” But the poor woman did not understand that if God’s eyes can penetrate walls they can penetrate clothes, they can penetrate your skeleton.

The very idea of God is inhuman, and Buddha was the first man to recognize the fact that as long as God exists, man will remain a slave. God has to be completely dropped as a useless hypothesis. Then man is absolutely free, individual, has his own private world of consciousness and realization. Any master worth calling a master always takes each individual and teaches him according to his potentialities, according to the stage where he is. This sometimes creates discrepancies, contradictions, but they cannot be avoided, because it is impossible to talk to each individual.
For example I have to talk to you all. And I am not only talking to you; what I am saying to you is going to reach around the world to all of my people. When I am talking to you I am also talking to them. As far as I am concerned they are as much present to me as you all. But it creates a problem: I am saying something which may be applicable to a certain individual and may not be applicable to somebody else. In their past lives they have grown different individualities, and they have come to different points.
Just last night we saw how Maitreya did not say anything to Sudhana but just a finger-snap, which was absolutely absurd, unrelated to anything…but he clicked his fingers and something transpired through that small gesture: Sudhana became enlightened. He was already ready, just standing on the border line, and this simple gesture pushed him.
But there are thick skulls! You go on hammering on them, and they think some kind of massage is being… You go on telling them the most profound truths, and they think it is a great entertainment. Enlightenment to them is nothing but a curiosity. They don’t want to become enlightened, but they want to understand – perhaps sometime it may be a good dimension to explore.

One great master from Sri Lanka was dying. He called all his disciples, and his last words were, “You have been listening for almost half a century, but you go on listening, accumulating knowledge, and nothing seems to change in your being. So as a last resort I have decided that those who want to become enlightened I will take with me. I am dying; they will have to die with me. So if anyone is really interested, stand up!”
Thousands of monks…and they started looking at each other – “You are senior, you should stand up. You, a great knower, should stand up. You are so learned in scriptures, you give such beautiful sermons, now is the time – get up!” But nobody was getting up.
The old man said, “I don’t have much time.” Then a man raised his hand, but he also did not get up. The old man said, “Just raising the hand won’t do. Stand up.”
The man said, “Forgive me, but I have many other things to do first. I am raising my hand to inquire, because you will be gone and I don’t know anybody else who can show me the way. In short, just tell me! If some day my work is finished, my complicated affairs are settled. I may follow but right now…please forgive me. Don’t misunderstand my hand – that’s why I am not standing, only the hand is standing. I don’t want to become enlightened right now, but I would like to know the right path.”
The old man said, “For half a century I have been talking about the right path, and you have not understood it. How can you understand within a few minutes? – because my time has come. But this has given me a great insight that your curiosity, your inquiry, was not for enlightenment. It was a kind of spiritual entertainment.”

So there are different people… There are people who are ready; they need just a small help, just the shadow of a whip. And there are people who would not budge from their state of affairs, even if all the buddhas of the past and the present and the future were trying to make them enlightened. Nobody can make you enlightened unless it has become your own innermost longing.
Individuals differ, hence Gautam Buddha was always giving instructions to individuals. He was speaking in big assemblies of thousands of monks but he was answering a particular individual and his question. Or he was saying something to a person who was not even aware that it is being said to him. But the person who is ready will catch it immediately, whether he understands that it is especially for him… It will start working in his being.
Because of differences in individuals the teaching cannot be a philosophical system. It cannot be logical non-contradictory. It has to be multi-dimensional. And Ta Hui is right when he says…he guided people according to their individual faculties.
He is talking about Gautam Buddha. It seems he has come to a little sense. He is no longer calling him the pale face, the old barbarian…
…through all realms, while sentient beings each obtained benefits according to their kind. it is like: “One gust of the east wind…
The quotation is from Gautam Buddha but so beautiful and so poetic… “One gust of the east wind, and the myriad grasses all bend down.”
Just when I come in and I see you bending down I remember the statement of Gautam Buddha: “One gust of the east wind, and all the grasses bend down.”
A man of enlightenment is nothing but a gust of the east wind. Just his being present is enough for those who are capable of some intelligence, who are not prejudiced, who are open and available like the open sky, and who are as innocent as the trees, as the grasses…it is irresistible not to bow down. You are not stone statues. But there are idiots in the world…

Just a few days ago there were seventy people from The Times Of India group of papers. This is the biggest organization of papers, the biggest network, in India – and the oldest. The owners were all here except for one person, the owner himself, who has been in love with me for a long time, since when he was a small child and I used to stay in their house in Calcutta.
He wanted to become a sannyasin – he had been here in the ashram before for a few days to meditate, but his father is very much against me. For two reasons his father is against me. First, that boy is his only son, and they are one of the topmost super-rich people in India. He is afraid that his son becomes a sannyasin, then who is going to take over his great empire? And the fear that he may start helping the movement with his money… And secondly he was angry with me, although we had not even quarreled or harmed each other. He was so afraid of me that when I used to stay in their house – because his wife has always been interested in me – he would go out of town immediately. Until I left their house he would not come home again. Just a casual encounter and there may be some trouble…
The second reason for his antagonism toward me was that his wife had asked me, “When a wife ceases to love the husband, is it right to sleep with him?”
I said, “That is prostitution! One has to be very sincere about it. If you don’t love him, you have to say it. Don’t try to pretend – at least in matters like love.”
Then she asked me, “If the wife loves somebody else…?”
I said, “Love is the highest law, and you should not be dominated by any lower law of morality, of society. When you are following the highest law, nothing goes wrong.”
She was asking these questions not just out of curiosity or for somebody else; she was asking for herself. The husband was angry that I had supported his wife, and he was worried – the wife is already impressed with me, the son is impressed and the daughter is impressed.
So he prevented the son, made it clear that, “If you become a sannyasin I will disown you. With my money you cannot help a movement that I don’t like, a man who has been disturbing our old tradition, our religion, our morality and who is corrupting the mind of the youth.” Now the son has become the director of The Times Of India group of papers, and the daughter also – associate director.
So they were here, the mother was here, and seventy people from the staff. They insisted that they wanted their questions to be answered. I agreed, because of a long relationship with their family. But when I came in I was surprised, those seventy persons were sitting like stone statues. They could not even answer my greeting, with folded hands. I was initiating the greeting but they could not raise their hands. It was hilarious that because of those seventy people… The wife, who is really now the owner of the whole thing because the husband is absolutely weak and cannot do anything that the wife does not want, she is now the queen of the whole empire that they have created…even she was sitting like a stone statue, worried about those seventy people – what if they see her? And greeting is a common practice; even on the street if you see a stranger, just to greet him… The only person who greeted me was Sameer, the young man who wanted to become a sannyasin.
The girl Nandita greeted me in a very strange situation: on one side was Sameer, greeting me just as any sannyasin, in the middle was her mother who was sitting like a dead corpse, and behind them the seventy corpses. The girl wanted to greet me, but she could not go the whole way. She compromised; she just raised her hands this much. She could not bring them together – a compromise. But when all these three saw me the next day, they all touched my feet. People have such public faces and such private faces!
But I was really feeling sad for those seventy people. They had come just to listen to me, to the answers – to the questions…and I devoted the whole meeting to their questions. If they cannot even greet me, do you think they can understand me?
The east wind comes – only dead trees will remain static. All the living trees will start bowing down.
These are the foremost journalists of the country, but with such prejudiced minds! I have answered their questions, but they don’t have the guts to publish their own interview in their own newspapers! They are afraid of the government, they are afraid of the public, and perhaps they are afraid of themselves – “What people will say? …because you listened to all this hammering on journalists and you could not speak a word…
“Looking at them…finally I decided not to look at them, because looking at them was such a pitiable scene. I simply forgot all about them. I looked at my people who are unprejudiced, open, available – and if the east wind comes to them, they will rejoice in its coolness.

In India the east wind is a special symbol, it has a meaning to it… From the east the coolest wind comes, very soothing to the heart, very refreshing to your whole being. But it cannot do anything to a corpse, neither can it give him coolness nor freshness. On the contrary, the corpse will give the cool wind its disgusting foul odor.
Buddha is saying,
“One gust of the east wind, and the myriad grasses all bend down.” The dharma preached by the Buddha is also like this.
If he had had the intent to create benefit in all realms, then this would have been preaching the dharma egotistically.
Buddha preaches without any intention. He preaches the way flowers release their perfume – without any intention. Even in the loneliest forest where nobody ever goes, when the flower opens it petals it releases its perfume. It is not a question of waiting for somebody to appreciate. It is not intentional. It is spontaneous.
Ta Hui, at least on this point, is right – and he is right perhaps because he himself is teaching with an intent to change people, to create benefit in all realms. And he is becoming a little aware of the fact that he himself does not know it; he has heard about it, and he is clever enough to manage intellectually to give it a form – systematized and logical and rational. But one cannot deceive oneself for long. Sooner or later one comes to know: What I am saying is not my experience, because my actions don’t show that they are coming from an enlightened being.
To want to cause myriad beings to gain deliverance according to their kind – is not this after all impossible? Have not you read how Sariputta, at the assembly where the perfection of wisdom was preached, asked Manjushri….
These two are very intimate disciples of Gautam Buddha, perhaps the most learned. But they dropped all their learning. The dialogue between them has to be very minutely and very lovingly understood, because this is how Buddhist enlightened people had been talking to each other for centuries. This is something special to Buddhism, in no other religion does such a thing happen. Both are enlightened beings.
Sariputta asked,
“Don’t all buddhas, the tathagatas, awaken to the realm of truth?
He knows the answer but he is simply asking Manjushri, who has just become enlightened.
Manjushri said:
No, Sariputta. Even the buddhas cannot be found: how could there be buddhas who awaken to the realm of truth?
The question was just to test how deep Manjushri has reached into his enlightenment. And Manjushri shows a tremendous insight. He says, “When you become enlightened you are no more. You don’t find a buddha. You are no longer a person, you are only a presence. And when there is no buddha, how could there be any truth to be found? Who will find it? The seeker, the searcher, the finder is no more – who will find the truth?
Even the realm of truth cannot be found: how could it be realized by the buddhas?
That which cannot be found certainly cannot be realized.
Ta Hui does not understand the intention of this small dialogue. He thinks, See how those two men spurred each other on this way. They have reached beyond the way; there is no question of being spurred by each other! Sariputta is simply trying to find how much depth there is to Manjushri’s enlightenment – and he is perfectly satisfied.
Enlightenment means: you become only a presence, and that very presence is the truth. There are not two persons – the finder and the found. the seeker has dissolved, and what has remained is just a pure awareness with no identity, with no personality, with no ego. This very presence is truth. There is no other truth than your awareness.
But Ta Hui does not say that Sariputta was immensely satisfied that Manjushri has reached to this place. His question was not a curiosity; his question was to fathom the depth. Manjushri has just gone through the transformation, and this was a usual practice among Buddha’s disciples: when somebody becomes enlightened, all other enlightened people will ask him strange questions – not that they don’t know the answer, they want to hear the answer from this man who has freshly entered into the eternal source of life.
But Ta Hui has left the dialogue incomplete. Sariputta was over-enjoyed, and he said to Manjushri, “So you have reached! Now there is nothing more, nowhere else to go. You have found your authentic reality.” Because Ta Hui does not say that, my feeling is he has not understood the purpose of the dialogue.
When did they ever set their minds on anything?
He cannot yet conceive the space of no-mind. He remains in the mind. Once in a while he comes to the very boundary of the mind, but then he again goes back; he does not step out of it. For example, this dialogue could have helped him to come out of the mind. There are no buddhas in enlightenment; there is no realization of truth in enlightenment, but only a pure presence, a pure life, pure consciousness but that is what we call the buddha, that is what we call the truth.
But Ta Hui’s approach is through the intellect and the mind, so he finishes by commenting:
See how those two men spurred each other on this way. When did they ever set their minds on anything? All the buddhas and all the patriarchs since antiquity have had a style like this in helping people.
They are not helping. The dialogue is not a question of helping, because both are enlightened. There are millions of dialogues…so beautiful. I have been thinking sometimes just to talk about those dialogues which have happened between enlightened people.

For example, Lin Chi is standing on a bridge with his master. He says, “Master, is it true” – because Buddha says everything is a flux – “that we are standing on a bridge which is in a flux? – it is dangerous. The river is moving, that is true, but the bridge is not moving.”
The master hit Lin Chi and told him, “You idiot! The river is not moving, the bridge is moving. Meditate over it!” And Lin Chi had to meditate over it and recognized…in a certain silence the bridge is also moving, but very slowly. To say that the river is moving is meaningless because the very meaning of the word river is movement; to say “movement is moving” is absurd. But the bridge that looks stable and permanent is moving, it is getting old. One day it will collapse. It is not a fast runner – very slow movement, so slow that you cannot detect it.
He went back to the master and said, “Forgive me. The river is not moving, the bridge is moving. River means movement, so there is no point in saying that it is moving. The real question is the bridge.”
And the master said, “You managed to see. In the right perspective, even mountains are moving, even stars are moving, because everything is in a flux. The river is moving so fast that you can see it, but that which you can see is not a great realization…until you start seeing that which is happening that you are not aware of.”
It is just that later descendants have lost the essence of the school and set up their own individual sects…
He himself belongs to an individual sect, and he is saying, It is just that later descendants have lost the essence of the school…
He knows it from his very inner feeling: he has also lost the essence, and he has also become part of a sect…making up strange things and concocting marvels. But it seems he is becoming a little alert about the situation; there is every possibility, because however asleep a man may be, he is going to awake sooner or later.
I would love to see Ta Hui…before he ends his sutras I would love to be able to say to you that he has come home. He wandered much; he went astray many times; he committed great mistakes, but all that can be forgiven if he comes back home. If he realizes even in the last sutra the essence of enlightenment, then everything else can be forgiven.
Man is very frail, very vulnerable. Ta Hui is not an exception. When he called Gautam Buddha “the barbarian” he was at the farthest point from realization; – he was lost in a jungle. To call Buddha a barbarian means there is no hope for man, ever. Buddha is a great hope in the sense that he has shown what is hidden in man’s being, and he has brought it more clearly than anybody else in the world.
Bertrand Russell remembers… He lived a long life, almost one century and saw many things happening – a long life of tremendous changes, revolutions, wars. He was brought up with a very fanatic Christian conditioning, but he was a man of tremendous intelligence and courage. He dropped all that conditioning because he looked into the Bible with an open mind – not as a Christian – and he found so many stupid statements that he had to write a book: Why I Am Not A Christian.
But he remarks in his autobiography: “Although I have dropped almost all my conditioning, it is an impossible task – even through the conditioning has been dropped, some traces somewhere have still remained. I became aware of those traces because when I read Gautam Buddha I was immensely satisfied that this is the man, the greatest man who has walked on the earth. But then suddenly something in me felt uneasy – how can somebody be a greater man than Jesus Christ. And I was amazed; I had been thinking that I am no longer a Christian!”
He has criticized Jesus on many points, and with such clear logic that no theologian of Christianity has been able to answer him – and I suspect even Jesus may not have been able to answer him! His questions are very clear.
For example he says, “Jesus goes on talking about compassion, love: ‘Love your enemies, love your neighbors’” – which is an even more difficult thing because enemies live far away. You don’t have to bother about them the whole time, but the neighbors are very close enemies continuously harassing you in some way or other. Christians call Jesus a prince of peace, but Bertrand Russell finds in the Bible incidents which prove that Jesus was not a man of peace. And he is caught up in such stupid incidents that there is no way to clean it up or to explain it away.
One day they had been hungry – he and his followers – because the people of the town had refused to give them any food. Jesus was so angry that when he came close to a fig tree…it was not the season for figs and the tree was without any fruits, but he was so blind in anger that he cursed the tree, “You will always remain an ugly tree because the only begotten son of God has come to you, and you are not ready with fruits – with no welcome!”
Bertrand Russell says, “Intellectually I understand perfectly that Gautam Buddha is perhaps the highest expression; Jesus is no comparison to him. But somewhere deep down I could not manage…the most I could do was to say that both were equal. I could not put Jesus Christ lower than Gautam Buddha knowing perfectly well that Gautam Buddha is far higher. But that is only intellectual understanding. The conditioning goes into the unconscious, and the unconscious becomes restless unless you satisfy it. As he accepted that perhaps they are both of equal status, the restlessness disappeared.
And this is from a man who is very intelligent, a genius – not only about the world but about himself also. He is watching how his mind functions. His intellect is saying that it is absolutely certain, but his unconscious feels disturbed. The unconscious is nine times bigger than your conscious, and to feel the unconscious disturbed is a kind of sickness, a nausea. To settle it down he agrees that both Buddha and Jesus are equal, and immediately the restlessness disappears.
Ta Hui is an intellectual. Calling Buddha “a barbarian,” sooner or later he must have realized that that was going too far – and it was too ugly.
I hope that he will come back. Even if he can come back at the last moment of his death, everything else can be forgiven. It is human to forgive… The ancient saying is, “It is human to err and it is divine to forgive.” I want a little change in it: “It is human to err, it is more human to forgive.” Why bring in the divine unnecessarily? The scientific mind always tries to have as few hypotheses as possible.
Maneesha had asked last night, seeing that Ta Hui has not proved a great treasure of enlightenment, “We can finish the discourses on Ta Hui tonight…”
I said; “No, because that will be an injustice. I have hammered him. If he can come back home I would like to appreciate him also; so I will go through all the sutras.
I don’t know what is going to happen in them. But a man, even though he may be an intellectual…if he continues, sooner or later he is going to recognize that he is going round and round in a circle. There is much more than this continuous circle, but that much more can be seen only if you stand out of the circle as a witness. And I think he is capable – because everybody is capable. It is only a question of when you turn inward, only a question of when you drop your pretensions and hypocrisies.
So I will wait for two weeks – she says there will be sutras for two weeks more. If he goes astray, he will get hit. But my feeling is, a man who is interested may realize at some point that what he is doing is only intellectual gymnastics – and that may prove a turning point in his life. If it happens, then this whole series on Ta Hui will be of immense significance, because it will be the story of any man – wandering, going astray, coming back to the path and then falling again and again, but at the end, finally he becomes a light unto himself.
I will also feel at ease, because I don’t like to hit anybody. If I can see him coming back with the insight of enlightenment as his own experience, I will also feel good: ‘The man was worth hitting. You were not hitting just an ordinary idiot – he was extraordinary!”
I don’t know what is going to happen in these two weeks. It all depends on Ta Hui – how many times he is going to go astray, and whether he has the potential to realize, or he dies without realization.
It will be a sad affair if he dies without enlightenment. I would like it to be a celebration…and my hope is that the man is capable.
Any moment the turning point can come, and any moment his inner flame can burn bright. So you will have to tolerate Ta Hui for at least two weeks more.

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