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[ Give Ear ]

The Seven Types of Individuals

Some interesting issues are clarified in this sutta.

The Buddha asks: "Do you understand me to have taught: Whatever sense experience (pleasant, unpleasant, or neither pleasant nor unpleasant) one experiences, unskilled states decline, skilled states grow?

No, sir.

So what you have understood is that I have taught: When one experiences one sort of pleasant, unpleasant, neither pleasant nor unpleasant sense experience unskilled states grow and skilled states decline; but for one experiencing sense experience of another kind unskilled states decrease and skilled states increase?

Yes, sir.

 

§

 

Nanamoli/Bodhi[1] [N/B] cite MA: "This statement is made with pointed reference to pleasure experienced in eating a night meal, which does not conduce to the practice of a monk's duties."

While the context of the sutta would appear to confirm this, I believe the deeper reference is to the idea of sense experience downbound to the world versus sense experience connected to letting go.[2]

I can't see the sense experience connected with eating that would conduce to unskilled states decreasing and skilled states increasing unless it were connected to the "once-removed" sort that is not downbound to the world (i.e., having experienced a pleasant sensation at the tongue he is aware of the danger, sees it as transitory, and let's it go thereby experiencing a pleasant sense experience, at the tongue, not downbound to the world; noticing the benefits, good states increase and bad states decrease.)

I believe this is confirmed by the logic of the rest of the sutta which deals with the various forms of attainment. The logic being that what is a problem for one level is not necessarily a problem for another level. Note MN #66, The Simile of the Quail:

Horner: "... it is like a man, poor, needy, destitute, who has one little tumbledown hovel, open to the crows, unlovely to see, one tumbledown pallet, unlovely to see, his grain and store-room in one jar, unlovely to see, his one wife unlovely to see. (he might think of becoming a homeless bhikkhu) . . . but he might not be able to bring himself to give up his one little tumbledown hovel ...
(But) ... it is like a householder or his son, rich, of great wealth, of great possessions, with a mass of abundant gold ornaments, a mass of abundant corn, a mass of abundant fields, with a mass of abundant raiment, with a mass of abundant wives, a mass of abundant men slaves, a mass of abundant women slaves. (he might think of becoming a homeless bhikkhu) . . . and he might be able to bring himself to give up his mass of abundant gold ornaments ..."

With regard to the rules of training and ethical conduct, it is not that the advanced Bhikkhu is permitted to do what a trainee is not permitted to do, it is that he has seen the benefit of the rules and has already integrated such behaviors into his lifestyle, so following rules is not an issue.

So here the Buddha says:

I do not say of all Bhikkhus either that there is or is not need for diligent (appamadena) work.

 


 

The seven types of persons[3] [4]

1. Two-Ways Freed ubhatobhāgavimutto
This individual has nothing more to do.

ubhato: PED: both, two-fold, in both (or two) ways, on both sides
bhaga: lucky (well)
vimutto: Freed

Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo ye te santā vimokhā atikkamma rūpe āruppā te kāyena phassitvā viharati, paññāya c'assa disvā āsavā parikkhīṇā honti.

Horner: "...abiding, having apprehended with the person those peaceful deliverances which are incorporeal having transcended material shapes; and having seen by means of wisdom his cankers are utterly destroyed."

N/B: "...contacts with the body and abides in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, and his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom."

(Two pretty different takes.)

This Man lives (viharati; resides) having reached (phassitvā: touched) in this body (kāyena) the immaterial peaceful liberations beyond the material,(santā vimokhā atikamma rūpe āruppā)(atikkamma; ati= et, and, yet, but, at but, adverb and preposition of direction (forward motion) in primary meaning "on and further"; moz pali = to at this; kamma = make) having by seeing and wisdom destroyed his āsavas (paññāya c'assa disvā āsavā parikkhīṇā honti).[5] [6]

This man lives having reached while living in this body the immaterial peaceful liberations beyond the material and having, by seeing and wisdom, destroyed his asavas.

The "Immaterial Peaceful Liberations"[7]

1. Possessing form, one sees forms.
2. Not perceiving material forms in oneself, one sees them outside
3. Thinking: "It is beautiful", one becomes intent on it.
4. The Realm of Space
5. The Realm of Consciousness
6. The Realm of No Thing There
7. The Realm of Neither-Perception-Nor-Non-Perception
8. The Ending of Perception and Sense Experience

Given the definition of the "Immaterial Peaceful Liberations" of the Digha, these "Immaterial Peaceful Liberations" are not in and of themselves the actual freedom of the Arahant. In other words, that "in addition" to destroying his Āsavas, this "Two Ways" Freed Arahant enjoys the liberations associated with these immaterial states. (see next)[8] One might say he had both unworldly and worldly freedom. How does #1 fit in with the idea of 'immaterial'?

 


 

2. Wisdom-Freed Paññāvimutto
This individual has nothing more to do.

Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo ye te santā vimokhā atikkamma rūpe āruppā te na kāyena phassitvā viharati, paññāya c'assa disvā āsavā parikkhīṇā honti.

N/B: Here some person does not contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, but his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom.

This man lives not having reached while living in this body the immaterial peaceful liberations beyond the material but has, by seeing and wisdom, destroyed his asavas. I take this as confirmation that the immaterial peaceful liberations are not required for attaining arahantship. One Arahant enjoys the ultimate freedom; another enjoys the ultimate freedom plus a bunch of freedoms in this world during his time left.

 


 

3. Body Seer kāyasakkhī
This individual has more to do.

kaya=body; sakkhi: ped (sa=one, own; akkhin = eye (>cakkhu); Latin: oculus) with his own eyes; eye-witness

Getting a good translation for this one is not easy: This fellow is not a "Seer of Body" because, if anything he has overcome body. "Body Witness" is exact, but does not mean anything to me. The translation given here means that he sees and understands liberation through his having attained the peaceful deliverances which are bodily. He sees liberation only through the medium of body; he is not yet completely free in mind. "Mental realizer" is completely incomprehensible to me and seems to be wrong ... um ... both ways.

Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo ye te santā vimokhā atikkamma rūpe āruppā te kāyena phassitvā viharati, paññāya c'assa disvā ekacce āsavā parikkhīṇā honti.

ekacca = PED: (eka = 1 + tya=like (moz pali: ti = this + ya = whatsoever)): english: one-like, one-ly, only; one, certain, definite ekacce: some, a few

Horner (mental realizer): some person is abiding, having apprehended with the person those peaceful deliverances which are incorporeal having transcended material shapes; and having seen by means of wisdom some (only) of his cankers are utterly destroyed.

N/B: (body-witness): Here some person contacts with the body and abides in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, and some of his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom.

This man lives having reached while living in this body the immaterial peaceful liberations beyond the material and has, by seeing and wisdom, destroyed some of his asavas.

 


 

4. View-Attainer diṭṭhippatto
This individual has more to do.

Following the logic of the discussion above, this individual having attained the immaterial liberations, has through that means broken and/or weakened his asavas.

Ditthi = view (opinion) ppatto = ped:pp of pāpuṇāti > pa+āp (pass up) to reach, attain

Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo ye te santā vimokhā atikkamma rūpe āruppā te na kāyena phassitvā viharati, paññya c'assa disvā ekacce āsavā parikkhīṇā honti, Tathāgatappaveditā c'assa dhammā paññya vodiṭṭhā honti vocaritā.

vodiṭṭhā= vo= Moz Pali=very old Pali=va=go > vya, vi; PED: vi+ava (PED note under ava: phonetically the difference between ava and o is this, that ava is the older form, whereas o represents a later development (MO: this depends on a theory of the formation of sounds that relies on A being the first sound). Historically the case is often reversed (MO: which may indicate to some that in other evolutions of the world system another sound — "O" — might have been the first sound) — that is, the form in o was in use first and the form in ava was built up, sometimes quite independently, long afterwards.) indicating down and away. dittha: having seen a thing as it really is, as opposed to ditthi, theoretical understanding. Got this down.

vocaritā= again vo= vi; + ocarati=(o+carati) to be after something, to go into, to search, reconnoiter, investigate, pry; carati=to move about, to "live and move" to behave, to be (remember vicara)

Horner: (won to view): As to this, monks, some person is abiding without having apprehended with the person those peaceful deliverances which are incorporeal having transcended material shapes; yet, having seen by means of wisdom some of his cankers are utterly destroyed, and those things proclaimed by the Tathagata are fully seen by him through intuitive wisdom and fully practiced.

N/B (attained-to-view): Here some person does not contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, but some of his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom, and he has reviewed and examined with wisdom the teachings proclaimed by the Tathagata.

This man lives not having reached while living in this body the immaterial peaceful liberations beyond the material but has, by seeing and wisdom, destroyed some of his asavas. The Tathagata's Dhamma-sayings are wisely understood and practiced by him.

 


 

5. Liberated at Heart saddhāvimutto
This individual has more to do.

Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo ye te santā vimokhā atikkamma rūpe āruppā te na kāyena phassitvā viharati, paññnya c'assa disvā ekacce āsavā parikkhīṇā honti, Tathāgate c'assa saddā niviṭṭhāā hoti mūlajātā pati.ṭṭhitā.

saddha= > saddahati (PED: Latin: cred-(d)o "creed"; Oir. cretim, to believe; Idg. kred (=cord heart) lit. to put one's heart on, to believe [mo credable], to have faith.) OED Shorter: Faith: f.L.fides, fidus, trustworthy, fidere to trust. Closer is, I think, "heart": OED Shorter: Heart: OFris. herte, OS herta, OHG herza; G Herz, ON hjarta, Goth. hairtoo, Gk keer, kardia, L. cor, cord. (MO: sadd to kad).

nivittha: PED: (pp nivisati) settled, established (in); confirmed, sure; fixed on, bent on, devoted to. nivisati (ni=down, put down + visati= L. vicus; E wick as in Warwick; (MO > visit); to enter) to enter, stop, settle down on, to resort to, establish oneself

mulajata: mula=root; jata=born, grown, arisen; rooted, having taken root

patitthita: (PED: paṭi+sthā (mo: to reground one's stand): settled, fixed, arrayed, stayed, standing, supported, founded in

N/B; (liberated-by-faith): Here some person does not contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, but some of his taints are destroyed by his seeing with wisdom, and his faith is planted, rooted, and established in the Tathagata.

Horner; (freed by faith): As to this, monks, some person is abiding without having apprehended with the person those peaceful Deliverances which are incorporeal having transcended material shapes; yet, having seen by means of wisdom some of his cankers are utterly destroyed, and his faith in the Tathagata is settled, genuine, established.

This man lives not having reached while living in this body the immaterial peaceful liberations beyond the material but has, by seeing and wisdom, destroyed some of his asavas. The Tathagata is where he has placed his heart, settled in, planted root and found his footing.

 


 

6. Dhamma Follower dhammānusārī
This individual has more to do.

Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo ye te santā vimokhā atikkamma rūpe āruppā te na kāyena phassitvā viharati, paññāya c'assa disvā āsavā aparikkhīṇā honti, Tathāgatappaveditā c'assa dhammā pa~n~naaya mattaso nijjhaana.m khamanti, api c'assa ime dhammaa honti seyyathīdaṃ saddhindriyaṃ viriyindriayaṃ satindriyaṃ samādḥindriyaṃ paññindriyaṃ.

anusari: > anusarati=to follow, conform oneself to

mattaso nijjhanam khamanti:

matta = PED: "by measure" measured, as far as the measure goes; 1. consisting of, measuring, 2. (negative) as much as, i.e. only, a mere, even as little as, the mere fact (of), not even (one), not any, 3. (positive) as much as, so much, some, enough (of), 4. like, just as, what is called, one may say (often untranslatable), 5. even at, as soon as, because of

nijjhana: understanding, insight, perception, comprehension; favor, indulgence, pleasure, delight (NI=down; JHANA=knowing)

khamanti: to be fit, to seem good; >KHAMAA=patience, endurance (b) the earth. PED does not relate to KAMMA or KAMA, but I think the relationship is inevitable (KAMMA mother's work; weaving; mother earth; the patience of motherhood, womanhood)

Indriya[9]

Saddhindriya: The Guiding Force of Faith
Viriyindriaya: The Guiding Force of Energy
Satindriya: The Guiding Force of Memory
Samadhindriya: The Guiding Force of Getting High
Pannindriya: The Guiding Force of Wisdom

N/B; (Dhamma-follwer): Here some person does not contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, and his taints are not yet destroyed by his seeing with wisdom, but with wisdom he has sufficiently gained a reflective acceptance of those teachings proclaimed by the Tathagata. Furthermore, he has these qualities: the faith faculty, the energy faculty, the mindfulness faculty, the concentration faculty, and the wisdom faculty.

Horner; (striving for dhamma): As to this, monks, some person is abiding without having apprehended with the person those peaceful Deliverances which are incorporeal having transcended material shapes; but (although) he has seen by means of wisdom, his cankers are not (yet) utterly destroyed; and those things proclaimed by the Tathagata are (only) moderately approved of by him by means of intuitive wisdom, although he has these states, namely the faculty of faith, the faculty of energy, the faculty of mindfulness, the faculty of concentration, the faculty of wisdom.

This man lives not having reached while living in this body the immaterial peaceful liberations beyond the material and has not yet destroyed his asavas by seeing and wisdom. The Tathagata's Dhamma-sayings are wisely evaluated, understood, and approved of, and he has these things: The Guiding Force of Faith, The Guiding Force of Energy, The Guiding Force of Memory, The Guiding Force of Getting High and The Guiding Force of Wisdom.

 


 

7. Faith Follower saddhānusārī
This individual has more to do.

Idha, bhikkhave, ekacco puggalo, ye te santā vimokhā atikkamma rūpe āruppā te na kāyena phassitvā viharati, paññāya c'assa disvā āsavā aparikkhīṇā honti, Tathāgate c'assa saddhāmattaṃ hoti pemamattaṃ, api c'assa ime dhammā honti seyyathīdaṃ saddhindriyaṃ viriyindriyaṃ satindriyaṃ samaadḥindriyaṃ paññindriyaḍ.

saddhamatta: sufficient faith

pemamatta: sufficient love

N/B; (faith-follower): Here some person does not contact with the body and abide in those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, and his taints are not yet destroyed by his seeing with wisdom, yet he has sufficient faith in and love for the Tathagata. Furthermore, he has these qualities: the faith faculty, the energy faculty, the mindfulness faculty, the concentration faculty, and the wisdom faculty.

Horner; (striving after faith): As to this, monks, some person is abiding without having apprehended with the person those peaceful Deliverances which are incorporeal having transcended material shapes; yet, having seen by means of wisdom his cankers are not utterly destroyed; but if he has enough faith in the Tathagata, enough regard, then he will have these things, that is to say the faculty of faith, the faculty of energy, the faculty of mindfulness, the faculty of concentration, the faculty of wisdom.

This man lives not having reached while living in this body the immaterial peaceful liberations beyond the material and has not yet destroyed his asavas by seeing and wisdom. The Tathagata is sufficiently trusted and admired, and he has these things: The Guiding Force of Faith, The Guiding Force of Energy, The Guiding Force of Memory, The Guiding Force of Getting High and The Guiding Force of Wisdom.

 


 

And what more remains to be done through diligence?

Here the Buddha makes the point that what he does not say is that aññāradhanaṃ is achieved ādiken, and that api he does say that omniscience is got by way of anupubbasikkhā, anupubbakiriyā and anupubbapaṭipadā.

aññāradhanaṃ: aññā = omniscience, the Buddhist concept not being that one sees all all the time, but that one knows whatever one wishes to know, whenever one wishes to know it.[10]

adika: "get-go"; "right off-the-bat"; ādi = starting point (MOZ PALI: at this), initially, beginning, first, principal, chief + KA.

api: (Moz Pali: to up here) close by; prep. "towards, to, on to, on" and as adv. "later, and, moreover" An important little word. Horner has: "nevertheless" while Nanamoli/Bodhi have: "On the contrary". Here I think N/B have been persuaded by their inclinations. It is "scripture" in Theravada that there is no such thing as "sudden enlightenment". I think this is not supported by the Suttas where we find numerous cases of individuals becoming Arahant while listening to a discourse. The intent of this statement here by the Buddha is, I believe, to say that sudden enlightenment is not the only way aññā is arrived at. This is important to avoid the mental state of anxiously awaiting (seeking after) "the moment" of enlightenment; something that is found in the Zen schools of Buddhism. If I say: "I do not say X is got by Y; and I do say X is got by Z" that does not mean that I say X is NOT got by Y and must be got by Z." On the other hand! I do recall a simile in which it is said that like the joining of the shore with the sea, the meeting is gradual, with no steep precipices (which is not a fact).

So the case should probably be that even if aññā were attained suddenly, it would still have progressed through the various stages set out below.

Anupubba: PED: (ANU=Gr. along, up; Lat: an; along, (a) the motion viewed from the front backward: after, behind; + PUBBA = (Idg: per; Goth. fram = from; Gr. first; As: formo, first; Ohg: fro, Lord, frouwa = Ger. frau;) having been before; before, earlier): following in one's turn, successive, gradual, by and by, regular, in course of time, later, gradually. Progressive

Sikkha: seeking, learning, training, studying
Kiriya: action, performance, deed, doing
Patipada: means of reaching a goal or destination, path, way, means, method, mode of progress

Here the Progressive Study, Doing, Path is:

Saddhājāto upasaṇkamati
born of faith; approach
Upasaṇkamanto payirupāsati
from approach sitting attentively
Payirupāsanto sotaṃ odahati
from sitting attentively listening carefully
Ohitasoto dhammaṃ suṇāti
from careful listening hearing Dhamma
Sutvā dhammaṃ dhāreti
from hearing Dhamma, retaining
Dhatānaṃ dhammānaṃ atthaṃ upaparikkhati
having retained Dhamma, he investigates
Atthaṃ upaparikkhato dhammā nijjhānaḍ khamanti
as he investigates Dhamma he comes to understanding and acceptance
Dhammanijjhānakhantiyā sati chando jāyati
reflecting on understanding and acceptance Intent is born
Chandajāto ussahati
with the birth of Intent, Receptivity
Ussahitvā tuleti
with Receptivity, Weighing
Tulayitvaa padahati
with Weighing, Taking a Stand
Pahitatto samāno kāyena c'eva paramaṃ saccaṃ sacchikaroti paññāya ca naṃ ativijjha passati.
having Taken a Stand, with wisdom and focused vision, he sees and he realizes even in this body the highest truth..

Horner: I, monks, do not say that the attainment of profound knowledge comes straightaway; nevertheless, monks, the attainment of profound knowledge comes by a gradual training, a gradual doing, a gradual course. And how, monks, does the attainment of profound knowledge come by means of a gradual training, a gradual doing, a gradual course? As to this, monks, one who has faith draws close; drawing close, he sits down near by; sitting down near by he lends ear; lending ear he hears Dhamma; having heard Dhamma he remembers it; he tests the meaning of the things he has born in mind; while testing the meaning the things are approved of; there being approval of the things desire is born; with desire born he makes an effort; having made the effort he weighs it up; having weighed it up he strives; being self-resolute he realizes with his person the highest truth itself and, penetrating it by means of wisdom, he sees.

N/B: "Bhikkhus, I do not say that final knowledge is achieved all at once. On the contrary, final knowledge is achieved by gradual training, by gradual practice, by gradual progress.
And how does there come to be gradual training, gradual practice, gradual progress? Here one who has faith (in a teacher) pays respect to him, he gives ear; one who gives ear hears the Dhamma; having heard the Dhamma, he memorizes it; he examines the meaning of the teachings he has memorized; when he examines their meaning, he gains a reflective acceptance of those teachings; when he has gained a reflective acceptance of those teachings, zeal springs up in him; when zeal has sprung up, he applies his will; having applied his will, he scrutinizes; having scrutinized, he strives; resolutely striving, he realizes with the body the ultimate truth and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom."

I do not say, Beggars, that omniscience is attained just like that (snap fingers); what I do say is that omniscience is attained by a Progressive Seeking, a Progressive Practice, a Progressive Method. And how is there a progressive seeking, a progressive practice, a progressive method? Here, Beggars, born of faith, approach; from approach, sitting attentively; from sitting attentively, listening carefully; from careful listening, hearing Dhamma; from hearing Dhamma, retaining; having retained Dhamma, he investigates; as he investigates Dhamma he comes to understanding and acceptance; reflecting on understanding and acceptance, Intent is born; with the birth of Intent, Receptivity; with Receptivity, Weighing; with Weighing, Taking a Stand; having Taken a Stand, with wisdom and focused vision, he sees and he realizes even in this body the highest truth.

 


[1] Wisdom Publications, The Middle Length Sayings of the Buddha

[2] See the section on Sense Experience in my version of the Satipatthana Sutta.

[3] When the Buddha says something like "There are these seven individuals found in the world" (as here), this should not be interpreted as meaning that this is an exclusive or inclusive list. As seen in the case of the Gradual Sayings, it means more like "There is this group of 7 and there can be this other group of 7, etc." However this group is important and referenced often. The context here, as indicated above, is to delineate those who have nothing more to do and those who have more to do.

[4]The Seven Types of Men

Pali MO Horner Bodhi/Nanamoli
ubhatobhāgavimutto Two-Ways-Freed Freed Both Ways Liberated-in-Both Ways
paññāvimutto Wisdom-Freed Freed by Intuitive Wisdom Liberated by Wisdom
kāyasakkhī Body Seer The Mental Realizer The Body-Witness
diṭṭhippatto View-Attainer The Won To View The Attained to View
saddhāvimutto Liberated at Heart The Freed by Faith The Liberated by Faith
dhammānusārī Dhamma Follower The Striver After Dhamma The Dhamma-Follower
saddhānusārī Faith Follower The Striver After Faith The Faith-Follower

[5] Asavas: PED: that which flows (out or on to) outflow & influx. 1. spirit, the intoxicating extract or secretion of a tree or flower; 2. discharge from a sore; 3. in psychology, for certain specified ideas which intoxicate the mind (bemuddle it, befoozle it, so that it cannot rise to higher things). The 4 Asavas: Pleasure; Living; Views; Blindness. The 3 Asavas: Pleasure; Living; Blindness. There are other lists.
See: The Asavas
Glossology: Asavas
See also: The Destruction of the Asavas

[6] ?! A little strange that the Immaterial is being characterized as being Touched by the Body. I am sure the meaning is: "realized (attained) by the individual here in this body, not after death".

[7] According to DN 15: Mahanidana Sutta:
BD: Great Downbinding Spell, mo trans.,
The Great Causes Discourse, Bhk. Thanissaro, trans.
PTS, Rhys Davids, II, pp68;
WP, Walshe, pp 229:

[8] This Arahant has freedom from "this form" where the next still has residue in the sense that he does not have complete freedom from such. Those stages described after the next appear to be another way of describing the stages to Arahantship more familiar to us as "Streamwinner, Once-Returner, and Non-Returner."

[9]See Glossology: Indriyani

[10] [MN 71]. Tevijja-Vacchagottasutta: "... I, Vaccha, whenever I please recollect a variety of former habitations, that is to say one birth, two births ... with purified deva-vision surpassing that of men ... see beings as they pass hence and come to be ... and I, Vaccha, by the destruction of the cankers, having realized here and now by my own super knowledge the freedom of mind and the freedom through wisdom that are cankerless, entering thereon, abide therein." In other words, the ability to see the Past, the Future and one's freedom in the present. This is aññā.

 


 

References:

Majjhima Nikaya, I, #70, Kīṭāgirisutta
PTS, Horner trans, Vol II, At Kīṭāgiri, pp. 146
WP, Nanamoli/Bodhi, At Kīṭāgiri, pp577.

DN #33:
Sangiti Sutta 8s.11 Pali, Rhys Davids, mo
DN33 Sangitisutta #8.11
DN33 The Recital, Rhys Davids, trans 8s 11
DN33 The Compilation #8.11

See: Nanamoli/Bodhi, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Wisdom Pubs, Sutta 77, notes 764-768


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