In Search of Jayatirtha’s Brindavana – Addendum 2016 (Part 1)


2016 is the third successive year into which I am carrying the “Search of Sri Jayatirtha’s Brindavana” by adding the new found evidences and facts.

This latest series of articles to be published under a common title “In Search of Jayatirtha’s Brindavana – Addendum 2016” shall be dealing with the following topics:

  1. The objections raised by Mr. Narahari Sumadhwa on my 3rd book on the said topic.
  2. The Facebook discussion initiated by Mr. Vishwapriya Anand Vedagarbha on Dasara Padagalu.

I have tried my level best to provide as many evidences and facts as possible and put the efforts to focus on the core topic than getting sidelined by the hatred or bias. 


As I did in my previous books, in this book also I have embedded the evidences, facts, citations and other materials within the text and have fully acknowledged the original sources.

The materials used in writing this book are deeply rooted in authentic sources of information only and every care has been taken to not to quote any hearsays or unauthenticated legends that are prevalent in the public domain. The reason behind this resolve to use such materials that are external to the Madhva sources can be summarized in a single word i.e. “unbiased.” This is because a true history never allows the false pretentions that subvert the original facts.

It is my personal opinion that the stellar performances of Madhva Gurus go beyond the superhuman acts and miracles. At the very outset as great souls, they have exemplified every worldly act of humans by embedding them with divinity and dignity. As the followers of them, all that we need to do is to catch that sublime message of being a Dharmika. Our Gurus have excelled in social development, societal restructure and overseeing the then administrative powers. By overlooking such wonderful performances and falling for some hearsay accounts of impossible miracles by them is a mere “Distortionism.”

Let us not miss the lush green woods for some dying trees!

C. Raghothama Rao



Hindus & Muslims of Medieval South India

In response to my 3rd book “In Search of Jayatirtha Brindavana – An Iconographic Study of Brindavana at Navabrindavana, Anegundi” I was in receipt of a mail from Mr. Narahari Sumadhwa whose complete content is given under:



You have presented a beautiful article on Iconographic importance of various vrundavanaas.  

You have considered various vrundavanaas and concluded that most of the vrundavanaas are alike in Iconographic importance.

But when you compare the vrundavanaas of Moola vrundavanaas of Akshobhya Tirtharu and Sri Jayatirtharu, both are alike.

In Anegondi Padmanabha Raghuvarya Vyasaraja vrundavanaas are alike.

in Malakheda Jayatirtha Akshobhya vrundavanaas are alike. 

This may be a result of iconographic based on different places.

Not only that.   Not all vrundavanaas are of same Iconographic style.

You admitted yourself that Brahmanya Tirtha is in a different shape.

Even the Vijayeendra vrundaavana Raghottama vrundavana Padmanabha Tirtha vrundavanaas are not alike.  Their top may resemble but not the body which differs from one to other. 

This fact also should have been considered.

Reg your comparison of Jayatirtharu and Raghuthamaru , I accept that poorvaashrama vaasana cannot be looked in.    But how you justify your stand on the warrier which NB team offered to Raghuvarya-thirtharu. (U call differently).

Reg politico-military system which you hv attributed saying Muslim rule also can't be accepted.  Do you feel that during their regime madhwa pontiffs never came out.  Even Rayaru story reveals that he had a good relationship with a muslim king.   Acharya Madhwa himself had met a Turka kingdom.  Tippu had good respect for Seshachandrika acharya.  As such your logic doesn't work.

I appreciate your work of a good historical work but it does not add anything to NB concept.   It is a mere claim only without authenticity and unrealistic 


With regards


To the above mail, I have sent a response which reads as below:

Dear Narahari avare, Namaskara.

1. Quote from your mail:

/You have considered various vrundavanaas and concluded that most of the vrundavanaas are alike in Iconographic importance.//

I don't think I have ever said that Brindavanas can be 'alike.' Instead, I have written that no two Brindavanas look alike. In other words, each Brindavana is unique and does not resemble any other Brindavana. Hence I'm not sure as to how you wrongly understood my opinion.

2. I request you to elaborate the alikness of Padmnaabha, Akshobya, Jatatirtha, Vyasaraja and other Brindavanas that you have highlighted in your mail. Your usage of 'alike' is making these Brindavanas to be identical or similar or indistinguishable from each other. Hence I am unable to understand your intended purport?

3. Quote from your mail:

//Reg your comparison of Jayatirtharu and Raghuthamaru , I accept that poorvaashrama vaasana cannot be looked in.//

Here too I'm unable get your intended meaning of 'cannot be looked in.' Prima facie the literal meaning if this phrase hints that you are of the opinion that Purva Ashrama vasana can't be considered. If this is your opinion then this not different from your earlier opinion. Please clarify.

3. Regarding the Politico-military system. This is not my invention. This system has been explained by many historians such as Vincent Smith, Robert Sewell, Krishnaswamy Ayingar, Neelakantha Shstri, Venkata Ramanayya and many others. Please read their books for further details.

4. The biggest pitfall of your attempt to patch-up the times of Raghavendra Tirtha and Jayatirtha us the timeline itself. Jayatirtha belongs to 14th century and Rayaru came in 17th century. It took nearly 300 years for Hindu Muslim reconciliation. Hence your attempt to compare two different tumelines can't hold the ground. Please check with any non-Madhva historian about the accuracy of my statement.

5. There were many Hindu holymen in North who survived the Muslim cruelty. They led a life of secrecy and penury. So were the Madhvabsaints of early 14th century as well. This topic is a complex one and can't be summerised here. I am writing an article on this topic which will be published soon.

This is my incomplete reply as I could not understand certain parts of your mail.



I was glad to receive the following reply from NS.


Hare srinivasa 

Reg your point 1 if you have not meant that no two vrundavanaas are alike, good.  I also agree. I might hv misunderstood 

2. Sir,  Please go through your pdf file wherein you have tried to prove with your sketch pen extra marking that the top of vrundaavanas in those vrundavanas are similar except Abbur. They are not similar.  

3.  Reg politico-military system and historic evidence which you tried to establish I don't understand as to how you link those muslim rule , invasions etc over Vrundaavana.   This is not acceptable .

Reg yiur reference of Vincent Smith, Robert Sewell, Krishnaswamy Ayingar, Neelakantha Shstri, Venkata Subbaiah how do you establish your theory? 

4.  I too is of the same opinion reg comparing Rayaru vrundavana and other vrundavana.   The structure varies from time to time and from place to place.  I hv not said like that. Please go through my reply once again.  As such one need not compare the  structural impact of moola vrundavana of Jayatirtharu at Malakheda and the moola vrundavana of Raghuvaryaru at Anegondi.

5.  Reg your point you yourself agree that many Hindu Holymen survived from Muslim attacks.  That is what I am telling.   The Anegondi camp book tried to establish Jayatirtharu can't hv vrundavana at Malakheda.  If such is the case, evdn Anegondi also could not have any vrundavanaas because it had been more affected by Muslim rulers when compared to Malakheda. 

Reg your article which you propose to write, I wish you best of luck.  You have the capacity of writing exhaustive articles. 





The important aspects of NS’s mail have been highlighted in RED colour such that readers can focus on the same.

The above conversation has thrown up three important questions/topics that need clarifications and those three have been listed here in the order of their importance.

  1. Why is it important to know the Muslim hegemony and its battles with Hindu rulers in South India?
  2. How this Muslim angle is connected with the wanderings and final resting places of Madhva saints?
  3. Why do we need to study the patterns of Brindavanas more particularly the Brindavana at Navabrindavana vis-à-vis its counter structure at Malkheda?

This write-up is an addendum to the books written earlier and is being written with an intention that many readers too might have got caught up with the above dilemmas or impasses similar to them.


Importance of studying Muslim rule of South India & Its relevance to Madhvas:

As I said in the introductory chapter of Book 3, the history of India is not an effortless chapter to study and comprehend with ease. Instead it is full of fussy and irregular pieces of information that doesn’t allow the readers to have a clear vision or understanding.

Having to face such a demanding need to know what exactly had happened in the past, one must not turn down even a single clue or lone evidence. One must not fall for the remoteness of such proofs. In the past, many dark chapters of Indian history have been unlocked with such plain and minimal evidences that were once ignored by the historians due to the unpretentious stature of those evidences.

This being the proven fact, as an enthusiast of historical research, I have attempted to consider every single aspect of South Indian history that popped up during 14th century during which period Sri Jayatirtha lived, worked and passed away. Incidentally, this century is the most troublesome, cruel and hoary period of South Indian history more importantly for Hindus and followers of other non-Muslim belief systems.

The first step to understand the then social and religious life of Hindus under Muslim rule, it becomes an important aspect to know the physical boundaries of the then Hindu & Muslims kingdoms concerned with our exploration. So, let me begin with the modern day political map of Karnataka and then take you in time capsule to the 14th century Karnataka.

Following is the area of our interest and the medieval history associated with this area can take us closer to the truth. The area has been marked with a red circle.

Gulbarga & Sadem Map


The following map from the official website of Uttaradi Matha presents the locations of our greatest concern as under:

Malkhed as shown in Uttaradi Matha Website


How was this area looking during the lifetime of Sri Jayatirtha i.e. between c.1340 to c.1388?

Let us see it through the maps provided by the Govt. of Karnataka itself such that the readers can be rest assured of my unbiased approach towards the topic. Hereunder is the map of Bahmani Kingdom (c.1347 to 1527) as presented in the official website of Karnataka Govt. Interested readers can follow through the URL shown in the below image to read about Bahmani Kingdom.

Boundaries Of Bahmani Sultanate

In the above map, the area of our interest has been shown with a red arrow mark.

It is the area of Gulbarga-Sedam-Malkhed, all falling within the precincts of each other and all these areas were part and parcel of Muslim hegemony much before the birth of Jayatirtha. Hence the 14th century history associated with this area shall become critical for us to understand the then socio, religious and political conditions that must have played a greater role in the lives of all Hindus of that time including the Madhvas. In other words, the behaviour of Bahmani sultans towards their non-Muslim subjects becomes a deciding factor whether Jayatirtha lived in these parts of the Muslim kingdom or not?

Here, I wish to quote a noted historian and a writer of foreign origin such that I can avoid of being ‘biased’ or being factually incorrect. Noted historian, Mr. Venkataramanayya, made the following remarks in “Early Muslim Invasions of South India


13th Century South India Described by Venkataramanayya

So, the Hindu-Muslim conflict has began in 13th century and continued up to 14th century thus making the study of Muslim repercussions on Hindus an important and integral part of finding Sri Jayatirtha’s movements during his ascetic days.

Another vital remark on the medieval Hindu-Muslim conflict comes from Mr. Jaywant Joglekar. In his book “Decisive Battles India Lost (326 B. C. to 1803 A. D.)”, Mr. Joglekar says that…

Decisive Battles India Lost Page 70

(from Page 70 of “Decisive Battles India Lost – 326BC to 1803 AD)

Thus the time slot between 13th to 18th century AD, i.e. till the dismemberment of Mughal and Maratha Empires, is filled with sword and fire. Frequent battles, small and large scale, have been fought on different fields that were followed by bloodiest outcomes and aftermaths. No battle can ever take place without troop movements. Hence a detailed study of the routes taken by the military regiments of the medieval kingdoms and Empires can explain the movements of Sri Jayatirtha.

As the study of military campaigns and the routes taken by the belligerent armies is in itself an

exhaustive study, I rest this episode at this point with a closing note that the areas in question

i.e. Malkheda and Yeragola were in close proximity to the then Bahmani capital i.e. Gulbarga

(Kulburgi) and therefore were thoroughly exposed to the movements of Muslim armies.


Importance of Knowing the magnitude of Medieval Hindu-Muslim Conflict:

Koenraad Elst, the famous Belgian historian and an expert in the history of Hindu-Muslim conflict in India, wrote in his much famed work “Negationism in India” that the Muslim atrocities in India has not been presented properly and any such truthful study is considered as taboo. The vehement attempts made by the imperial historians and Communist historians have reduced not only the very nature of Indian history but the heroes and heroines of this country too were ridiculed to the core.

Following explanation by the ace historian Mr. Sitaram Goel can throw much better light on what I just said:

Heroic Hindu Resistance by Sitaram Goel

(Excerpt from “Heroic Hindu Resistance to Muslim Invaders” by Sitaram Goel)

One of the prominent South Indian historians of 20th century, Krishnaswami Aiyangar in his much acclaimed work “South India and her Muhammadan Invaders” writes about Hindu-Muslim conflict as below:

This is Vijayanagara - From Krishnaswamy Ayingar's Introduction


So, the very foundation of Vijayanagara was laid to continue the “the great national war of the Hindus” against the Muslims, the merciless invaders from the North. If we fail to recognize this ‘spirit’ of Vijayanagara history, we shall be living with a corpse without a soul. Also, we will be missing many vital clues of Madhva history of that period. Hence the history of South India during the lifetime of Jayatirtharu must be studied in this background. Else we shall be doomed to the eternity from not knowing the truth.

At this juncture, it becomes necessary for us to understand the religious policies of both Hindu and Muslim rulers of this period in question. In this regard, the following excerpt becomes very important in understanding the religious behaviour of Bahmani sultans who were ruling over the places that are connected to Jayatirtharu. Read the text put in the red box and also follow the lines that are underlined with red colour.

Muslim atrocities in India

It must be remembered that Elst was writing about Hindu-Muslim conflict of pan-India nature and not just about South India. From this wide perspective, his specific remark against the Bahmani Sultans and the horror meted out by them against their non-Muslim subjects shall mark a vicious clash of religions in South India and more importantly in the areas that are much closer to Malkheda and Mangalwedha.

In his “The History of Medieval India:From 1000 AD to 1707 AD”, Mr. Radhe Shyam Chaurasia writes that one of the chief reasons for the downfall of Bahmani Sultanate is “the religious intolerance” exhibited by the successive sultans. The following excerpt from his book is as under:

History of Medieval India by Radhe Shyam Chaurasia

Abraham Eraly, a noted Indian historian who passed away quite recently, has excellently summarized the religious tolerance of Vijayanagara kings and that of the intolerance of Muslim sultans:

Vijayanagara Rajas Vs. Muslim Sultans

(Quoted from - The Age of Wrath: A History of Delhi Sultanate by Abraham Eraly)

With these few critical inputs, it can be deduced that during the lifetime of Jayatirtharu i.e. c.1344 – c.1388, the places such as Malkheda, Yaragola and Mangalwedha were under Bahmani sultans and the overall religious approach by the sultans was that of intolerance towards their non-Muslim subjects.

Hence, it can be inferred that given the hostile conditions prevailed during his lifetime, Jayatirtharu would have chosen a much secured place than an unfriendly atmosphere and habitat.

At this juncture, it is important to know about the Bahmani sultans that were contemporaries to Jayatirtharu. During the lifetime of Jayatirtha five sultans have ruled the Bahmani dominions.

  1. Alauddin Bahmani Shan, the founder of the Sultanate (c.1347-1358);
  2. Muhammad Shah Bahmani – 1 (c.1358-75); 
  3. Mujahid Shah Bahmani (c.1375-78);
  4. Dawood Shah Bahmani (c.1378) and
  5. Mahmod Shah Bahmani (c.1378 – 1395)

A closer look at the religious tolerance of the above five sultans and the battles that they have waged during their kingship can prove many a historical fact. But among the above, the tenures of 2nd and 3rd sultans become critical as they cover the complete adulthood of Jayatirtharu. Therefore, let me present some of the critical aspects of these two sultans.

Following note from “Encyclopedia of Indian Events & Dates” compiled by Mr. S.B. Bhattacharjee throws much light on the behavioral aspects of Bahmani sultans:

Reasons for downfall of Bahmani Sultanate

Both Vijayanagara and Bahmanis fought tooth and nail for Raichur doab, a fertile land with strong fortifications. This Raichur is again not far off from Malkhed region and as per the modern day’s motor-ride distance between these two locations is around 140 KMs. This short distance affirms the frequent movements of military troops throughout the year except during the monsoon period.

In the book “The Age of Wrath: A History of Delhi Sultanate” eminent Indian historian Abraham Eraly give the following important information about the occupations of Vijayanagara and Bahmani kings. This description helps us to understand the plight of commoners and peace-loving persons such as the saints.

Why Vijayanagara & Bahmanis made frequent wars

Abraham also narrates a chilling account of treachery meted out to the Hindus by Muhammad Shah – I of Bahmani sultanate. He says that the envoys of Vijayanagara, after witnessing large scale destruction of civilians, submitted a proposal to Muhammad to spare the lives of unarmed civilians and prisoners of war. Though Muhammad agreed to this proposal, he or his successors were never really interested in implementing the same.

By considering the reign of Muhammad Shah which is placed between c.1358 to 1375, we can assess that the major portion of Sri Jayatirtha’s ascetic life was filled with pitched battles that were fought in many parts close to Mangalwedha (his birthplace) and Malkheda (claimed to be his final resting place). It would be interesting to note that for Bahmanis the period between c.1375 and c.1378 was full of conspiracies, murders of royal family members and open dissent by the nobles while Vijayanagara steadily progressed to bolster its frontiers.

With the advent of the rule of Muhammad Shah – II in the year 1378 which lasted for 17 years i.e. up to 1395, Bahmani sultanate slowed down on its military campaigns against its neighbours including the Vijayanagara.

It so happened during the reign of Firoz Shah (1397-1422) that the first ever reconciliation between Muslim monarchs and Hindu nobles had happened. Till then, the Bahmani sultans were hostile towards their non-Muslim subjects. Historical accounts of this time reveal that when there was a severe famine in Bahmani dominions, the monarch (Muhammad Shah – II) provided relief aid only to Muslims and left the non-Muslims to suffer and die out of hunger and thirst.

In short, throughout 14th century there were bitter wars between the Vijayanagara and Bahmanis most of which have occurred in the regions closer to Malkhed and Mangalwedha. According to another historian, Mr. Rama Sharma, there were four large scale wars & few decisive battles that were fought between the Vijayanagara and Bahmanis on various war-fronts across the modern day North Karnataka, Telangana, border provinces of Maharashtra etc. See the following table for details:

Year (AD) Name of the War/Battle Place(s) Emperor/Sultan Jayatirtha’s Life Events
1351 First Bahmani War Various Harihara-I & Alauddin Bahmani Shah Was 7 years old boy
1361-62 Second Bahmani War Warangal, Villupatam & other places Bukka – I & Muhammad Shah – 1  
1365-68 Third Bahmani War Mudgal, Siruguppa , Hampi & other places Bukka – I & Muhammad Shah – 1 In 1364 meets Akshobharu & in 1366 ascends Vedanta Samrajya
1375-78 Fourth Bahmani War

Adoni, Hampi & many places on the entourage of Muslim forces.

Finally Vijayanagara forces reached Raichur

Bukka – I & Mujahid Shah Jayatirtha busied himself in writing commentaries and also touring North.
1388     Harihara-II & Mahmod Shah Brindavana Pravesha

According to the Muslim chronicler Ferishta, at the end of the first war, Bahmanis have occupied the territories between Bhima River to Adoni fort and Bidar to Port of Chaul (now called as Revdanda, Maharashtra). Following images are only the cursors to know the extent of occupation achieved by Bahmanis in 1351.

Image 1:

Bahmani Expansion 1

Image 2:


Bahmani Expansion 2


The magnitude of these battles can be understood by looking at the casualties of Battle of Mudgal that was fought in c.1366.

Battle of Mudhol between Vijayanagara & Bahmanis

(Excerpt from – Atrocitology: Humanity’s 100 Deadliest Achievements by Mathew White)


A War and a Battle & Their Dynamics:

In order to get a grasp over the severity of Vijayanagara-Bahmani armed conflicts, we must understand the difference between a war & a battle such that the magnitude of the four wars that Bahmanis fought with Vijayanagara can be estimated.


In simple terms a battle is a localized armed struggle between two

or more armies whereas war is a series of battles fought over a large

number of territories and generally have devastating aftermaths that

exceed the losses incurred in a battle..


Therefore, when a historian says “The Vijayanagara-Bahmani War” it must be understood by the reader as a series of armed conflicts in different places of a large territory.

As we drill down to a battle and look at its operational level, a battle can be of various types. It could be a hand-to-hand combat on an open field or a siege of a fort that continues for several months or could be a hot pursuit of the enemy who is on an escape from direct armed conflict.

In all these scenarios, the movements of military troops, baggage trains, camp followers and slaves are all the more important. The mere sight of this huge contingent of armed men and the sundry is not only disturbing for common folks but also a frightening one.

As an example, read the following excerpt from “The Bahmanis of Deccan” by Haroon Khan Sherwani to know how the “War Theater” would get created by kings:

Expansion of Bahmani territories by Hasan Gangu alias Zafar Khan


If we translate the above movements on a map, we get the following:


Zafar Khan sends four armies from Daulatabad in four directions

As the invading armies march towards their final targets, they get engaged in many skirmishes, close encounters with local military bands, advance-guard of the opponents, indigenous tribes that are fiercely independent etc. So, when the army of Miraj principality marched towards Gulbarga to fight against its occupier named Kandhra, the armed units must have passed through the areas adjoining Malkhed and Mangalwedha. The siege of Gulbarga lasted for several months which again affirms the presence of invading Muslim armies for a long time in the surroundings of Gulbarga that include our areas of interest.

Hence, we must realize that the areas such as Malkhed, Mangalawedha and Yaragola have

always been part of the conflict zones and were thoroughly frequented by the army units.

The above facts reaffirm that the socio, politico, religious atmosphere during the childhood and adulthood of Jayatirtha was full of battles, riots and unknown & unrecorded skirmishes between the Vijayanagara and Bahmani armies. As we can see from the places of battles, it is evident that the entire area placed between Adoni to Raichur and surroundings were always exposed to frequent movements of both Hindu and Mussalman armies.

Thus it becomes clear that Malkhed, Mangalawedha and Yaragola were quite hostile to civilians and Hindus in particular as they were part of Bahmani sultanate of whose early Sultans were hostile to their non-Muslim subjects.


Modern Literary Evidences that hint Jayatirtharu’s Presence in


Mr. Rama Sharma who wrote an interesting book titled “The History of the Vijayanagara Empire” (Published in 1946 by Popular Prakashan, Bombay) in Page 33 said:

Jayatirtha mentioned as part Bukkaraya - I's regime

The above narrative identifies Jayatirtha as the most prominent religious teachers flourished in Vijayanagara Empire more particularly during the reign of Bukkaraya – I.  This is in sharp contrast with the claims made by Malkhed camp that the revered saint lived in and around Malkhed, Mangalwedha & Yaragola i.e. the areas which were part of Muslim rule since 1347 and were the prominent conflict zones of military combats.

Similarly, DVG (D.V. Gundanna), the famous Kannada writer of 20th century, in his book on contemporaries of Vidyaranya said:

DVG mentions about Jayatirtha-Vidyaranya meet

It is worthwhile to note here that DVG doesn't make a mention on the alleged Akshobhya Tirtha-Vidyaranya debate.

On the other hand, the following observation made by Mr. Venkoba Rao in his introduction to “Vyasayogi Charitam(Page xli) reaffirms my observation:

Jayatirtharu at Udupi as per Venkoba Rao's intro to Vyasayogi Charitam

It must be noted here that the observations made by Mr. Venkoba Rao are in line with the various historical narratives. Hereunder I provide a short summary of the same:

  • By c.1370 Kumara Kampana, son of Bukka-I, has liberated the Tamil provinces from the yolk of Muslim rulers by dismembering the Madurai sultanate.


  • Similarly, the areas that surrounded Udupi were always under Vijayanagara rule since c.1347. Marapa, the brother of Bukka – I had firmly established himself in these dominions.


  • By c.1377, Vijayanagara armies forayed deeper into Konkan area and by c.1380 the whole of Konkan was brought under Vijayanagara’s banner.

Therefore the suggestions made by Mr. Venkoba Rao that Jayatirtha had visited Udupi in c.1366 when the 3rd Bahmani War broke out is in perfect sync with Vijayanagara’s firm hold on Konkan area in c.1347 itself. On the same lines, it would not be a guess work but a strong fact to place Jayatirtha in Hampi from c. 1378 to his brindavana pravesha in c.1388.

In all probability, Jayatirtha must have moved from Yaragola by 1370 i.e. soon after the Third Bahmani War came to an end (in 1368) and must have settled at Hampi. He engaged himself in completing his writings and thereafter must have traveled from Hampi to North India once the situation became compatible for undertaking the travel and must have returned to Hampi by c.1378 or later. Subsequently, he must have met with Vidyaranya who, by c.1380, was fully settled at Hampi by building an Ashram behind Virupaksha temple which is called as “Sanyasi Dibba” and can seen even today. Finally, in c.1388 Jayatirtharu entered his brindavana in the island closer to Anegundi.




(SECTION - II follows soon...)


+1 #1 IVNS Raju 2016-06-16 08:54
It is proved again that it is easy to dismiss a hard work with objectivity and authenticity than attempting one by self.

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