Hymns of the Atharvaveda - Book 13

Atharva Veda

Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith

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HYMN I Scroll Up

The glorification of Rohita, a form of Fire and of the Sun

1Rise, Mighty One, who liest in the waters, and enter this thy
fair and glorious kingdom.
Let Rohita who made this All uphold thee carefully nurtured
for supreme dominion.
2The strength that was in waters hath ascended. Mount o'er the
tribes which thou hast generated.
Creating Soma, waters, plants and cattle, bring hitherward both
quadrupeds and bipeds.
3Ye Maruts, strong and mighty, sons of Prisni, with Indra for
ally crush down our foemen.
Let Rohita, ye bounteous givers, hear you, thrice-seven Maruts
who delight in sweetness!
4Up to the lap of births, to lofty places, hath Rohita, the germ
of Dames, ascended.
Conjoined with these he found the six realms: seeing his way
in front here he received the kingship.
5For thee hath Rohita obtained dominion, scattered thine ene-
mies, become thy safeguard.
So by the potent Sakvaris let Heaven and Earth be milked to-
yield thee all thy wishes.
6Rohita gave the Earth and Heavens their being. There Para-
meshthin held the cord extended.
Thereon reposeth Aja Ekapāda. He with his might hath stab-
lished Earth and Heaven.

7Rohita firmly stablished Earth and Heaven: by him was ether
fixt by him the welkin.
He measured out mid air and all the regions: by him the Gods
found life that lasts for ever.
8Arranging shoots, springs, Rohita considered this Universe in
all its forms and phases.
May he, gone up to heaven with mighty glory, anoint thy sov-
ranty with milk and fatness. p. 108
9Thy risings up, thy mountings and ascensions wherewith thou
fillest heaven and air's mid-region—
By prayer for these, by milk of these, increasing, in Rohita's
kingdom watch, among his people.
10The tribes thy heat produced have followed hither the Calf and
Gāyatri, the strain that lauds him.
With friendly heart let them approach to serve thee, and the
Calf Rohita come with his mother.
11Erected, Rohita hath reached the welkin, wise, young, creating
every form and figure.
Agni, refulgent with his heightened lustre, in the third realm
hath brought us joy and gladness.
12Thousand-horned Bull, may Jātavedas, worshipped with butter,
balmed with Soma, rich in heroes,
Besought, ne'er quit me; may I ne'er forsake thee. Give me
abundant men and herds of cattle.
13Rohita is the sire and mouth of worship: to him with voice, ear,
heart I pay oblation.
To Rohita come Gods with joyful spirit. May he by risings raise
me till I join him.

14Rohita ordered sacrifice for Visvakarman: thence have I obta-
ined this strength and energy.
May I proclaim thee as my kin over the greatness of the world.
15On thee have mounted Brihatī and Pankti. and Kakup with great
splendour, Jātavedas!
The cry of Vashat with the voice uplifted and Rohita with seed
on thee have mounted.
16He goes into the womb of earth, he robes himself in heaven and
He on the Bright One's station hath reached heavenly light and
all the worlds.
17To us, Vāchaspati, may Earth be pleasant, pleasant our dwelling,
pleasant be our couches.
Even here may Prāna be our friend: may Agni, O Parameshthin
give thee life and splendour.
18And those, Vāchaspati, our own five seasons, sacred to Visva-
karman their creator.
Even here our friend be Prāna: Parameshthin, may Rohita
vouchsafe the life and splendour. p. 109
19Breed, O Vāchaspati, joy and understanding, kine i n our stall
and children in our consorts.
Even here may Prāna be our friend: may Agni, O Parameshthin,
give thee life and splendour.
20With splendour let God Savitar, and Agni, with splendour
Mitra, Varuna invest thee.
Treading down all Malignities, come hither. Pleasant and'
glorious hast thou made this kingdom.
21Rohita, car-borne by a speckled leader, thou, pouring water,.
goest on in triumph.
22Golden, refulgent, lofty is the Lady, Rohinī, Rohita's devoted
Through her may we win various spoil and booty, through her
be conquerors in every battle.
23Rohita's seat is Rohinī before us: that is the path the speckled
Mare pursueth.
Kasyapas and Gandharvas lead her upward, and heavenly sages
ever watch and guard her,
24Sūrya's bay steeds refulgent and immortal draw the light-rolling.
chariot on for ever.
Drinker of fatness, Rohita, resplendent, hath entered into
various-coloured heaven,

25Rohita, Bull whose horns are sharply pointed, superior of Agni
and of Sūrya,
He who supports the sundered earth and heaven,—from him the
Gods effect their own creations.
26Rohita rose to heaven from mighty ocean, Rohita rose and
clomb all steeps and rises.
27Prepare the Milky One who teems with fatness: she is the Gods'
never-reluctant milch-cow.
Indra drink Soma: ours be peace and safety. Let Agni lead the
laud, and chase our foemen.
28Both kindling and inflamed, adored with butter and enhanced
May conquering Agni, conqueror of all, destroy mine enemies.
29Let him smite down in death and burn the foeman who
attacketh me.
Our adversaries we consume through Agni the Carnivorous.
30Beat them down, Indra, with thy bolt, beat them down, mighty
with thine arm. p. 110
I through the energy and force of Agni have secured my foes.
31Cast down our foes beneath our feet, O Agni. Brihaspati,
oppress our rebel kinsman.
Low let them fall, O Indra-Agni. Mitra-Varuna, powerless to
show their anger.
32Ascending up on high, O God. O Sūrya, drive my foes away.
Yea, beat them backward with the stone: to deepest darkness
let them go.
33Calf of Virāj, the Bull of prayers and worship, whitebacked, he
hath gone up to air's mid-region.
Singing, they hymn the Calf, with gifts of butter: him who is
Brahma they exalt with Brahma.
34Rise up to earth, rise up to heaven above it; rise up to opulence,
rise up to kingship.
Rise up to offspring, rise to life immortal; rise, and with Rohita
unite thy body.
35With all the Gods who circle round the Sun, upholding royal
With all of these may Rohita accordant, give sovranty to thee
with friendly spirit.
36Cleansed by prayer, sacrifices bear thee upward: bay coursers,
ever travelling, convey thee. Thy light shines over sea and
billowy ocean.
37Rohita, conqueror of cows and riches and gathered spoil, is
heaven's and earth's upholder.
Over earth's greatness would I tell my kinship with thee who
hast a thousand births and seven.
38A glorious sight to beasts and men, thou goest glorious to the
regions and mid-regions.
On earth's, on Aditi's bosom, bright with glory. Fain would I
equal Savitar in beauty.
39Thou, yonder, knowest all things here, when here thou knowest
what is there.
From here men see the sphere of light, Sūrya profoundly wise in
40A God, thou injurest the Gods: thou movest in the ocean's
Men kindle common Agni: him only the higher sages know.
41Beneath the upper realm, above this lower, bearing her Calf at
foot, the Cow hath risen p. 111
Whitherward, to what place hath she departed? Where doth she
calve? Not in this herd of cattle.
42She hath become one-footed or two-footed, four-footed, or
eight-footed or nine-footed,
This universe's thousand-syllabled Pankti Oceans flow forth
from her in all directions.
43Rising to heaven, immortal, hear my calling. Cleansed by
prayer, sacrifices bear thee upward. Bay coursers, ever on the
road, convey thee.
44This, O Immortal One, I know of thee, thy progress to the sky
thy dwelling-place in loftiest heaven.
45Beyond the sky, beyond the Earth looks Sūrya, and beyond the
The single eye of all that is; to mighty heaven hath he arisen.
46The earth was made his altar, and the wide expanses were the
There Rohita established both these Agnis, fervent heat and
47He stablished heat and cold, he made the mountains sacrificial
Then both the Agnis, Rohita's who found celestial light, with
rain for molten butter, sacrificed.
48Rohita's Agni-his who found heaven's light-is kindled with the
From him the heat, from him the cold, from him the sacrifice
was born.
49Both Agins-Rohita's who found the light of heaven—made
strong by prayer,
Waxing by prayer, adored with prayer, by prayer enkindled,
50One is deposited in Truth, one kindled in the waters: both
Agnis of Rohita who found the light are set aflame with prayer.
51That decked by Wind, and that prepared by Indra Brāhman-
Agnis of Rohita who found light, prayer-enkindled, sacrificed.
52Rohita made the earth to be his altar, heaven his Dakshinā.
Then heat he took for Agni, and with rain for molten butter he
created every living thing.
53The earth became an altar, heat was Agni, and the butter rain. p. 112
There Agni made, by song and hymn, these mountains rise and
stand erect.
54Then, having made the hills stand up, Rohita spake to Earth,
and said:
In thee let every thing be born, what is and what is yet to be.
55This sacrifice, the first of all, the past, the present, had its birth.
From that arose this universe, yea, all this world of brightness,
brought by Rohita the heavenly Sage.
56If thou should kick a cow, or by indecent act offend the Sun,
Thy root I sever; nevermore mayst thou cast shadow on the
57Thou who, between the fire and me, passest across the line of
Thy root I sever: nevermore mayst thou cast shadow on the
58Whoe'er he be who, Sūrya, God! comes between thee and me
On him we wipe away ill-dream, and troubles, and impurity.
59Let us not, Indra, leave the path, the Soma-presser's sacrifice.
Let not malignities dwell with us.
60May we obtain, completely wrought, the thread spun out tc
reach the Gods,
That perfecteth our sacrifice.

HYMN II Scroll Up

The glorification of the Sun as Āditya, Sūrya and Rohita

1Radiant, refulgent in the sky are reared the banners of his light,
Āditya's, who beholdeth man, mighty in act and bountiful.
2Let us laud him, the whole world's Herdsman, Sūrya, who with
his rays illumines all the regions,
Mark of the quarters, brightening them with lustre, swift,
mighty-pinioned, flying in the ocean.
3From west to east thou speedest freely, making by magic day
and night of diverse colours.
This is Āditya, thy transcendent glory, that thou alone art born
through all creation.
4Victorious, inspired, and brightly shining, whom seven strong
tawny-coloured coursers carry,
Whom Atri lifted from the flood to heaven, thus men behold
thee as thy course thou runnest.
5Let them not snare thee speeding on thy journey: pass safely,
swiftly places hard to traverse,
While measuring out the day and night thou movest—O Sūrya,
even Heaven and Earth the Goddess.
6Hail to thy rapid car whereon, O Sūrya, thou circlest in a
moment both the limits,
Whirled by thy bay steeds, best of all at drawing, thy hundred
horses or seven goodly coursers!
7Mount thy strong car, O Sūrya, lightly rolling, drawn by good
steeds, propitious, brightly gleaming,
Whirled by thy bays, most excellent at drawing, thy hundred
horses or seven goodly coursers.
8Sūrya hath harnessed to his car to draw him seven stately bay
steeds gay with wolden housings.
The Bright One started from the distant region: dispelling
gloom the God hath climbed the heavens.
9With lofty banner hath the God gone upward, and introduced
the light, expelling darkness.
He hath looked round on all the worlds, the Hero, the son of
Aditi, Celestial Eagle. p. 116
10Rising, thou spreadest out thy rays, thou nourishest all shapes
and forms.
Thou with thy power illumest both the oceans, encompassing
all spheres with thy refulgence.
11Moving by magic power to east and westward, these two young
creatures, sporting, circle ocean.
One of the pair beholds all living creatures: with wheels of gold
the bay steeds bear the other.
12Atri established thee in heaven. O Surya, to create the month.
So on thou goest, firmly held, heating, beholding all that is.
13As the Calf both his parents so thou joinest both the distant
Surely the Gods up yonder knew this sacred mystery long ago.
14Sūrya is eager to obtain all wealth that lies along the sea,
Great is the course spread out for him, his eastward and his
westward path.
15He finishes his race with speed and never turns his thought
Thereby he keeps not from the Gods enjoyment of the Drink of
16His heralds bear him up aloft, the God who knoweth all that
Sūrya, that all may look on him.
17The Constellations pass away, like thieves, departing in the
Before the all-beholding Sun.
18His herald rays are seen afar refulgent o'er the world of men,
Like flames of fire that burn and blaze.
19Swift and all-beautiful art thou, O Sūrya, maker of the light,
Illuming all the radiant realm.
20Thou goest to the hosts of Gods, thou comest hither to mankind,
Hither, all light to behold.
21With that same eye of thine wherewith thou seest, brilliant
The active one among mankind,
22Traversing sky and wide mid-air, thou metest with thy beams
our days,
Sun, seeing all things that have life.
23Seven bay steeds harnessed to thy car bear thee, O thou far-
seeing One, p. 117
God, Sūrya, with the radiant hair.
24Sūrya, hath yoked the pure bright seven, the daughters of the
car, with these,
His own dear team, he travelleth.
25Devout, aflame with fervent heat, Rohita hath gone up to
He is re-born, returning to his birthplace, and hath become the
Gods' imperial ruler.
26Dear unto all men, facing all directions, with hands and palms
on every side extended,
He, the sole God, engendering earth and heaven, beareth them
with his wings and arms together.
27The single-footed hath outstepped the biped, the biped overtakes
the triple-footed.
The biped hath outstridden the six-footed: these sit around the
single-footed's body.
28When he, unwearied, fain to go, hath mounted his bays, he
makes two colours, brightly shining.
Rising with banners, conquering the regions, thou sendest light
through all the floods, Āditya.
29Verily, Sūrya, thou art great: truly, Āditya, thou art great.
Great is thy grandeur, Mighty One: thou, O Āditya, thou art
30In heaven, O Bird, and in mid-air thou shinest: thou shinest on
the earth and in the waters.
Thou hast pervaded both the seas with splendour: a God art
thou, O God, light-winner, mighty.
31Soaring in mid-course hither from the distance, fleet and ins-
pired, the Bird that flies above us,
With might advancing Vishnu manifested, he conquers all that
moves with radiant banner:
32Brilliant, observant, mighty Lord, an Eagle illuming both the
spheres and air between them.
Day and the Night, clad in the robes of Sūrya, spread forth more
widely all his hero powers.
33Flaming and radiant, strengthening his body, bestowing floods
that promptly come to meet us,
He, luminous, winged, mighty, strength-bestower, hath mounted
all the regions as he forms them. p. 118
34Bright presence of the Gods, the luminous herald Sūrya hath
mounted the celestial regions.
Day's maker, he hath shone away the darkness, and radiant,
passed o'er places hard to traverse.
35He hath gone up on high, the Gods' bright presence, the eye of
Mitra, Varuna and Agni.
The soul of all that moveth not or moveth, Sūrya hath filled the
earth and air and heaven,
36High in the midst of heaven may we behold thee whom men call
Savitar, the bright red Eagle,
Soaring and speeding on thy way, refulgent, unwasting light
which Atri erst discovered.
37Him, Son of Aditi, an Eagle hasting along heaven's height, I
supplicate in terror,
As such prolong our lengthened life, O Sūrya: may we, unha-
rmed, enjoy thy gracious favour.
38This gold-hued Hansa's wings, soaring to heaven, spread o'er a
thousand days' continued journey
Supporting all the Gods upon his bosom, he goes his way behold-
ing every creature.
39Rohita, in primeval days Prajāpati, was, after, Time, Mouth of
all sacrifices, he, Rohita, brought celestial light.
40He, Rohita, became the world: Rohita gave the heaven its heat.
Rohita with his beams of light travelled along the earth and sea.
41To all the regions Rohita came, the imperial Lord of heaven.
He watches over ocean, heaven, and earth and all existing things.
42Mounting the lofty ones, he, bright, unwearied, splendidly
shining, makes two separate colours,
While through all worlds that are he sends his lustre, radiant,
observant, mighty, wind-approacher.
43One form comes on, the other is reverted: to day and night the
Strong One shapes and fits him.
With humble prayer for aid we call on Sūrya, who knows the
way, whose home is in the region.
44The suppliant's way, filling the earth, the Mighty circleth the
world with eye that none deceiveth.
May he, all-seeing, well-disposed and holy, give ear and listen to
the word I utter.
45Blazing with light his majesty hath compassed ocean and earth
and heaven and air's mid-region. p. 119
May he, all-seeing, well-disposed and holy, give ear and listen to
the word I utter.
46Agni is weakened by the people's fuel to meet the Dawn who
cometh like a milch-cow,
Like young trees shooting up on high their branches, his flames
are mounting to the vault of heaven.

HYMN III Scroll Up

A glorification of Rohita. with a malediction on the man who wrongs a Brāhman

1He who engendered these, the earth and heaven, who made the
worlds the mantle that he weareth,
In whom abide the six wide-spreading regions through which the
Bird's keen vision penetrateth,
This God is wroth offended by the sinner who wrongs the
Brāhman who hath gained this knowledge
Agitate him, O Rohita; destroy him: entangle in thy snares the
Brāman's tyrant.
2He from whom winds blow pure in ordered season, from whom
the seas flow forth in all directions, p. 121
This God, etc.
3He who takes life away, he who bestows it; from whom comes
breath to every living creature,
This God, etc.
4Who with the breath he draws sates earth and heaven, with
expiration fills the ocean's belly,
This God, etc.
5In whom Virāj, Prajāpati, Parameshthin, Agni Vaisvānara abide
with Pankti,
He who hath taken to himself the breathing of the Supreme, the
vigour of the Highest,
This God, etc.
6On whom rest six expenses and five regions, four waters, and
three syllables of worship,
He who hath looked between both spheres in anger,
This God, etc.
7He who, consuming food, became its master, the Lord of Prayer,
the Regent of Devotion,
The world's Lord, present and to be hereafter,
This God, etc.
8He who metes out the thirteenth month, constructed with days
and nights, containing thirty members,
This God, etc.
9Dark the descent; the strong-winged birds are golden: they fly
aloft to heaven, enrobed in waters.
They have come hither from the seat of Order,
This God, etc.
10What silver. Kasyapa, thou hast refulgent, what brightly-shining
lotus-flower collected,
Wherein are gathered seven Suns together,
This God, etc.
11In front the Brihat-Sāman is his mantle, and from behind
Rathantara enfolds him,
Ever with care robing themselves in splendour.
This God, etc.
12One of his wings was Brihat, and the other Rathantarr., vigorous
with one same purpose,
What time the Gods gave Rohita his being.
This God, etc. p. 122
13At evening he is Varuna and Agni, ascending in the morning he
is Mitra.
As Savitar, he moves through air's mid region, as Indra warms-
the heavens from the centre.
This God, etc.
14This gold-hued Harisa's wings, soaring to heaven spread o'er a
thousand days' continued journey.
Supporting all the Gods upon his bosom, he goes his way behol-
ding every creature.
This God, etc.
15This is the God who dwells-within the waters, the thousand-
rooted, many-powered Atri,
He who brought all this world into existence.
This God; etc.
16With flying feet his tawny coursers carry the bright God through,
the sky, aglow with splendour.
Whose limbs uplifted fire and heat the heavens: hither he shines-
with beams of golden colour.
This God, etc.
17He beside whom his bay steeds bear the Ādityas, by whom as
sacrifice go many knowing.
The sole light shining spread through various places.
This God, etc.
18This seven make the one-wheeled chariot ready: bearing seven
names the single courser draws it.
The wheel, three-naved, is sound and undecaying: thereon these
worlds of life are all dependent.
This God, etc.
19Eight times attached the potent Courser draws it, Sire of the
Gods, father of hymns and praises.
So Mātarisvan, measuring in spirit the thread of Order, purifies
all regions.
This God, etc.
20The thread that goes through all celestial quarters within the
Gāyatri, womb of life eternal.
This God, etc.
21There are the settings, three the upward risings, three are the-
spaces, yea, and three the heavens.
We know thy triple place of birth, O Agni, we know the deities''
triple generations. p. 123
22He who, as soon as born, laid broad earth open, and set the
ocean in the air's mid-region, This God, etc.
23Thou, Agni, kind with lights and mental powers, hast up in
heaven shone as the Sun, enkindled.
The Maruts, sons of Prisni, sang his praises what time the Gods
gave Rohita his being. This God, etc.
24Giver of breath, giver of strength and vigour, he whose com-
mandment all the Gods acknowledge,
He who is Lord of this, of man and cattle, This God, etc.
25The single-footed hath outstepped the biped, the biped overtakes
the triple-footed.
The quadruped hath wrought when bipeds called him, standing
and looking on the five collected.
This God is wroth offended by the sinner that wrongs the
Brāhman who hath gained this knowledge.
Agitate him, O Rohita; destroy him: entangle in thy snares the
Brāhman's tyrant.
26Born is the darksome Mother's Son, the whitely shining Calf of
He, Rohita, ascendeth up to heaven, hath mounted to the

HYMN IV Scroll Up

A glorification of the Sun as the only Deity

1Down looking, on the ridge of sky Savitar goes to highest
2To misty cloud filled with his rays Mahendra goes encompassed
3Creator and Ordainer, he is Vāyu, he is lifted cloud.
4Rudra, and Mahādeva, he is Aryaman and Varuna.
5Agni is he, and Siirya, he is verily Mahāyama.
6Calves, joined, stand close beside him, ten in number, with one
single head.
7From west to east they bend their way: when he mounts up he
shines afar.
8His are these banded Maruts: they move gathered close like
porters' thongs. p. 125
9To misty cloud filled with his rays Mahendra goes encompassed
10His are the nine supports, the casks set in nine several places
11He keeppeth watch o'er creatures, all that breatheth and that
breatheth not.
12This conquering might hath entered him, He is the sole the
simple One, the One alone.
13In him these Deities become simple and One
14Renown and glory, and force and cloud, the Brāhman's
splendour, and food, and nourishment,
15To him who knoweth this God as simple and one.
16Neither second, nor third, nor yet fourth is he called;
17He is called neither fifth, nor sixth, nor yet seventh
18He is called neither eighth, nor ninth, nor yet tenth.
19He watcheth over creatures, all that breatheth and that breatheth
20This conquering might hath entered him. He is the sole, the
simple One, the One alone,
21In him these Deities become simple and One
22Devotion and Religious Fervour, and renown and glory, and
force and cloud, the Brāhman's splendour, and food and
23And past and future, and Faith and lustre, and heaven and sweet
24To him who knoweth this God as simple and One.
25He, verily, is death, he is immortality, he is the monster, he is
the fiend.
26He is Rudra, winner of wealth in the giving of wealth; in uttering
homage he is the sacrificial exclamation Vashat duly employed.
27All sorcerers on earth obey with reverence his high behest.
28All constellations yonder, with the Moon, are subject to his will.
29He was brought forth from Day: and Day derives his origin.
from him.
30He was brought forth from Night: and Night derives her origins
from him.
31He was produced from Air: and Air derives its origin from him.
32He was produced from Wind: and Wind derives his origin from.
him. p. 126
33From Heaven was he produced: and Heaven derives his origin
from him.
34He sprang from regions of the sky: from him the heavenly
regions sprang.
35He is the offspring of the Earth: Earth hath her origin from
36He was produced from fire: and fire derives its origin from
37He is the waters' offspring: and from him the waters were
38From holy verses was he born: from him the holy verses
39He is the son of sacrifice: and sacrifice was born from him.
40Sacrifice, sacrifice's Lord, he was made head of sacrifice.
41He thundereth, he lighteneth, he casteth down the thunder-stone
42For misery or happiness, for mortal man or Asura.
43Whether thou formest growing plants, or sendest rain for
happiness, or hast increased the race of man,
44Such is thy greatness, liberal Lord! A hundred bodily forms are
45Millions are in thy million, or thou art a billion in thyself.
46Stronger than immortality is Indra: stronger thou than deaths;
47Yea, stronger than Malignity art thou, O Indra, Lord of Might.
Calling thee Master, Sovran Chief, we pay our reverence to
48Worship to thee whom all behold! Regard me, thou whom all
49With food, and fame, and vigour, with the splendour of a
Brāhman's rank
50We pay thee reverence calling thee strength, power, and might,
and conquering force.
51We pay thee reverence calling thee red power, the silvery
52We pay thee reverence calling thee vast, wide, the good, the
53We pay thee reverence, calling thee extension, compass, width,
and world.
54We pay thee reverence, calling thee rich, opulent in this and that,
with wealth unceasing and secure p. 127
55Worship to thee whom all behold! Regard me, thou whom all
56With food, and fame, and vigour, with the splendour of a
Brāhman's rank.

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Source: The Hymns of the Atharvaveda. translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith [1895-6]. The text has been reformatted by Jayaram V for Hinduwebsite.com.  As far as the presentation of the material is concerned, this online version does not follow the original book. While all possible care has been taken to reproduce the text accurately, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or the authenticity of the text produced. We strongly recommend to  use this text for general reading and understanding and refer the original edition for serious studies and academic projects .

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