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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 109-115  

Standard manufacturing process of Makaradhwaja prepared by Swarna Patra-Varkha and Bhasma

1 Ph.D.Scholar, Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, India
2 Reader, Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, India
3 Director, Research and Development, SDM College of Ayurveda, Udupi, Karnataka, India
4 Professor and Head, Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Date of Web Publication5-Oct-2011

Correspondence Address:
Sanjay Khedekar
Ph.D. Scholar, Department of R.S. and B.K. I.P.G.T. and R.A., Gujarat Ayurved University Jamnagar, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-8520.85741

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Makaradhwaja is an important Kupipakwa Rasayana. It is prepared by using Swarna (gold), Parada (mercury) and Gandhaka (sulfur) in different ratios, i.e. 1:8:16, 1:8:24 and 1:2:4, respectively. The amount of Gandhaka in the Jarana process is directly proportional to the increase in therapeutic efficacy and reduces the toxicity of the product. Specific temperature pattern for the preparation of Makaradhwaja has been followed. In the present study Swarna, Parada and Gandhaka were taken in the ratio 1:8:24, respectively, and 12 h of heating for a specified amount of Kajjali (i.e., 400 g) in a Kacha Kupi 1/3 rd of its capacity. There are some controversies regarding the form of Swarna (i.e., Swarna Patra Swarna Varkha or Swarna Bhasma) used in the preparation of Makaradhwaja. Therefore, in the present study, the samples of Makaradhwaja were prepared by Swarna Patra, Varkha and Bhasma in different batches. It was found that the use of Varkha produced a good-quality product along with the maximum amount of gold, i.e. 268 ppm, in comparison with Patra, i.e. 131 ppm, and Bhasma, i.e. 19 ppm, respectively.

Keywords: Bhavana , Hingulottha Parada, Kupipaka, Standard manufacturing process, Shodhana

How to cite this article:
Khedekar S, Patgiri B J, Ravishankar B, Prajapati P K. Standard manufacturing process of Makaradhwaja prepared by Swarna Patra-Varkha and Bhasma. AYU 2011;32:109-15

How to cite this URL:
Khedekar S, Patgiri B J, Ravishankar B, Prajapati P K. Standard manufacturing process of Makaradhwaja prepared by Swarna Patra-Varkha and Bhasma. AYU [serial online] 2011 [cited 2023 Jun 3];32:109-15. Available from: https://www.ayujournal.org/text.asp?2011/32/1/109/85741

   Introduction Top

Makaradhwaja is a popular Kupipakwa Rasayana, prepared with the Swarna (gold), Parada (mercury) and Gandhaka (sulfur) in a specified ratio. It was first described by Rasendra Chintamani [1] by the name of Chandrodaya Rasa, although the word Makaradhwaja was first coined by Rasaratnakara. The term Makaradhwaja is composed of two words, i.e. Makara and Dhwaja. The term Makaradhwaja is also a synonymous of Kamadeva, [2] the God of beauty. When it is used for therapeutic purposes, it produces Rasayana and Vrishya (in literary meaning, Makara indicates the aphrodisiac because Makara Retasa has been described as best Shukrala[3] while Dhwaja [straight rod or flagpole] indicates its sexual potency. It is directly correlates the Dhwajabhanga, i.e. non-erection of penis.) property. A total of 30 formulations [4] are found described by the name of Makaradhwaja and Chandraodaya, and two types of instruments are used for its preparation, i.e. Valuka Yantra and Khalwa Yantra. Nowadays, Makaradhwaja is generally prepared as per the reference of Rasendra Chintamani due to easy and convenient preparation method; here, Swarna, Parada and Gandhaka are used in 1:8:16 ratio, but in different Rasa classics it is found described that the amount of Gandhaka is directly proportional to the therapeutic activity. [5] Therefore, in this study, the ratio was followed as per the Bhaishajya Ratnawali, i.e. 1:8:24.

Aims and objective

The aim of the study was to develop the Standard Manufacturing Process (SMP) for Makaradhwaja prepared by Swarna-Patra-Varkha and Bhasma by Electrical Muffle Furnace (EMF).

   Materials and Methods Top

Swarna was collected from a local authentic hallmark-certified Jeweler from Jamnagar. Hingula, Tila Taila, Gandhaka and Kulattha were collected from the Pharmacy, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar. Takra, Kanji, Kulattha Kwatha, Japakusuma Swarasa, Kumari Swaras, Nimbu Swarasa etc. were taken as per the classical reference and processed through prescribed methods. The whole process has been divided into the following:

Shodhana of raw materials

Kantakavedhi Swarna Patra was prepared from 24 carat gold biscuits on the machine that had 2.5 cm breadth, 150 cm length and 0.5 mm diameter. For Samanya shodhana, these Kantakavedhi Swarna Patra were heated up to red hot through a Gas blower and dipped into prescribed liquid media three times. [6] Gandhaka[7] was melted along with Goghruta and poured into the Godugdha. Then, Swedana (heating under liquid bath) was done for 3 hrs. After that, it was washed with hot water, dried and powdered [Table 1].
Table 1: Observation of Shodhana of the raw materials

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Hingulottha Parada Nirmana

Shodhana of Hingula was done by giving Bhavana of lemon juice three times. [8] After that, it was washed, dried and stored. The required amount of Parada was extracted from Hingula by Nada Yantra method. Fine powder of Shuddha Hingula was wrapped in cotton cloth (equal weight of Hingula) and burnt under the pot. Thus, due to heat, the sulfur part of Hingula burns and leaves the Parada, which gets evaporated as vapor and is collected on the inner side of the pot. Parada was collected by rubbing with cloth and then washing with hot water and filtering through four folders of cloth. This Parada was used to prepare Makaradhwaja [Table 2].
Table 2: Observation of extraction of Parada from Hingula

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Preparation of Swarna Varkha

Shodhita Swarna Patra
was cut into small pieces (2 cm × 4 cm length). Then, these Patra were continuously hammered with the help of an iron hammer in the leather bags up to the Varkha formation. This procedure was performed in Ahmedabad under supervision. The thickness of the Varkha was not measured because it was too thin. This Varkha was then used in the preparation of Swarna Pishti.

Preparation of Swarna Bhasma

Shuddha Swarna Patra was cut into fine pieces and triturated with the Hingulottha Parada up to Pishti (amalgam) formation and then this amalgam was kept between Shuddha Gandhaka in Sharava, i.e. Swarna Pishti was covered completely by Shuddha Gandhaka. Sharava Samputa was prepared and after complete drying, it was subjected to heat. After each Puta, Parada was reduced by 1/16 th from the quantity of the initial Parada and the Gandhaka was in equal quantity of Swarna up to the last Puta. But, here, a total of 30 Puta were required for the preparation of Swarna Bhasma up to Kumkum colored without shining of particles. [9]

Preparation of Swarna Pishti

Shudha Swarna patra were cut into small pieces. Hingulottha Parada was taken in Simaka Khalvayantra and, after that, Shuddha Swarna Patra pieces were added one by one to it with proper trituration. The mixture was triturated up to a homogeneous form. The Nimbu Swarasa was added for proper preparation of amalgamation. Thus, semisolid, soft Swarna Pishti (amalgam of gold) was formed. [10]

The second batch of Swarna Pishti was prepared from Swarna Varkha and Hingulottha Parada; Nimbu Swarasa was not needed because it was prepared within few minutes by simple trituration.

The third batch of Swarna Pishti was prepared from Swarna Bhasma and Hingulottha Parada, with the addition of Nimbu Swarasa. But, for this, a large quantity of Nimbu Swarasa and a longer period of trituration was required even it was not properly prepared so that an equal amount of Saindhava Lavana[11] was added to it and again triturated till the formation of Pishti [Table 3].
Table 3: Observations of Swarna Pishti from Swarna Patra, Varkha and Bhasma

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Preparation of Kajjali of Makaradhwaja

The Swarna Pishti (amalgam of gold) was taken in a Simaka Khalvayantra and Shuddha Gandhaka was added to it in the prescribed quantity. Mardana was done for 24 hrs till fine, soft, Nishchandra Kajjali was formed [Table 4]. This was subjected to Bhavana Dravya of Japakusuma Swarasa, which was added to it in an adequate amount to wet the Kajjali (Rasapankavat) semisolid and Mardana was carried out for 3 hrs, till the homogeneous, soft mass was formed and then it was dried in sunlight [8] [Table 5]. The same procedure was repeated by adding the Bhavana Dravya, i.e. Kumari Patra Swarasa, and it was taken 1/4 th of the total amount of Kajjali as it was found to be sufficient to wet the total material. [10] The observations of Kupibharana of Makaradhwaja are shown in [Table 6].
Table 4: Observations during preparation of Kajjali ofMakaradhwaja

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Table 5: Observations during Bhavana processing of Kajjali of Makaradhwaja

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Table 6: Kupikabharana of Makaradhwaja

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Preparation of Makaradhwaja Apparatus

Mortar and pestles, Kanchakupi, Multani mitti, cloth, Loha shalakas-2, kerosene oil, matchbox, thread, enamel tray, glass container, cork, copper coin, torch, knife; Electric muffle furnace: Outer length: 40 cm, breadth: 40 cm, height: 50 cm, inner hearth length: 15 cm, breadth: 15 cm, depth: 30 cm, Kanchakupi: Amber-colored beer bottle, capacity: 625 ml, total height: 28 cm, cylindrical part: Height: 14 cm; circumference: 24.5 cm; diameter of the bottom: 6.5 cm, conical part: Height: 14 cm; diameter of the mouth: 2cm, weight: Before Kapadamitti: 450 g; after Kapadamitti: 590 g.


The Bhavita Kajjali of Makaradhwaja was taken, triturated well in Khalvayantra and filled in Kanchakupi [Table 6]. The Kupi was placed exactly at the center of the electric muffle furnace and fixed in proper position with the help of firebrick blocks. The heating process was carried out in a Kramagni pattern, i.e. increasing order but intermediate heating. Heat was gradually increased over a period as per the schedule, i.e. 3 hrs Mandagni (120-250°C), 6 hrs Madhyamagni (250-450°C), 3 hrs Tivragni (450-600°C). The temperature of the furnace was recorded after intervals of 30 min. During the course of heating, the hot Shalaka was repeatedly inserted into the mouth of the Kupi to burn the accumulated sulfur at the neck of the bottle to prevent blocking. After achieving the confirmative test, the mouth of the Kupi was corked and the temperature was increased up to 600°C and it was maintained for the next 2 hrs. [Table 7]. Then, the Muffle furnace was switched off and left for self-cooling. After Swangsheeta, Kanchakupi was taken out from the muffle furnace and the outer covering was removed; a thread (which was soaked in kerosene) was tied below 1 inch from the final product and ignited. Then, a few drops of water were sprinkled, which leads to break the Kupi, and finally, Makaradhwaja was collected from the neck of the Kupi. Swarna powder was collected from the bottom of the Kupi. The Makaradhwaja was triturated well in Khalva yantra up to a fine red color powder [Table 8]. Makaradhwaja samples were analyzed by employing various possible organoleptic, physical and chemical parameters [Table 9] and [Table 10]. The same procedures were followed for all three samples of the Makaradhwaja, i.e. for Swarna Patra, Swarna Varkha and Swarna Bhasma. A total of 17 batches were prepared to determine the SMP [Table 8] and [Table 11]. [10]
Table 7: Observations during Kupipaka of Makaradhwaja (MP, MV and MB avg)

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Table 8: Results of preparation of Makaradhwaja of the different batches

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Table 9: Classical analytical tests of the Makaradhwaja samples

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Table 10: ICP analysis of the Makaradhwaja sample

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Table 11: Standard manufacturing procedure for the preparation of Makaradhwaja

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   Discussion Top

For the preparation of Kupipakwa rasayan, preparation of Kajjali and heating pattern are the most important factors to obtain maximum quantity of yield and to increase efficacy of the product without any untoward effect. As per classical texts, the Kramagi[12] heating pattern should be provided during processing of any Kupipakwa rasayana. It means temperature pattern should be an increasing order but intermediate heating process. In can be divided into three stages, i.e. Mridu, Madhya and Tivra agni. Here, Mriduagni indicates the melting stage of Kajjali, Madhyam agni indicates the boiling stage of Kajjali and Tivra agni means immense heating, which takes place a confirmative test of the final product. One such effort had been done by Prajapati et al., [13],[14],[15] who has given the temperature range for the particulars of Agni, such as-Mridu Agni 120-250°C (6 hrs), Madhyama Agni 250-450°C (6 hrs), Tivra Agni 450-630°C (6 hrs). This standardization was done in an electric muffle furnace for the preparation of Makaradhwaja in the ratio of 1:8:16, and the same was also followed by Chinta Durga et al. [16] and Patgiri et al. [17],[18]

But, for the present study, to prepare the Triguna Balijarita Makaradhwaja in minimum heat duration, the heating pattern was changed. As the proportion of Gandhaka increases with Parada, i.e. balijarana, it was observed that there is an increase in the heating duration for the Jarana. Here, an attempt was made to prepare the same in minimum time with least consumption of energy while maintaining its therapeutic efficacy. Therefore, the duration of Mriduagni and tivraagni period was decreased without disturbing the madhyamagni duration (i.e., Mriduagni for 3 hrs, Madhyamagni for 6 hrs and Tivragni for 3 hrs). Because of a higher amount of Kajjali in Makaradhwaja prepared by the Swarna Patra sample, each batch was prepared with 424 g of Kajjali whereas in the Varkha and Bhasma samples, because of the lesser amount, it was prepared with 330 g of Kajjali in the same heat duration for the standardization purpose.

The Hingulottha Parada was used because as per classical text, its properties are equal to those of Astasamskarita Parada. [19] For the preparation of Swarna Pishti of Varkha, only 1 hr was required as compared with 12 hrs required for Swarna Patra, which may be because the particle size of Swarna Varkha is too fine as against that of Swarna Patra. In the preparation of Pishti of Swarna Bhasma 32 hrs were required, which was too much in comparison with that required for Swarna Varkha and Swarna Patra; the reason behind this may be that the Swarna Bhasma is not in elemental form, which leads to the extra time taken for the amalgamation with Parada [Table 3]. The Nischandratva and Rekhapurnatva tests of Kajjali were passed in 16 hrs, but 24 hrs trituration was done for the fineness. The weight of Kajjali was found to be increased (3.5% on an average) after Bhavana, which may be due to the added solid contents of Japakusuma Swarasa and Kumari Swarasa [Table 5].

It was observed during a trial and error study that the amount of Gandhaka is directly proportional to the burning period. Therefore, as per the classical notes, a specific temperature pattern was mentioned for the Samguna Kajjali Sindura, i.e. Mridu Agni, Madhyama Agni and Tivraagni in an equal ratio. In this, Gandhaka was just in the melting stage in the Mriduagni while in the Madhyama Agni stage, Gandhaka boils and burns and in the Tivra Agni period, Parada with Gandhaka sublimes. Thus, the temperature required for the melting of Gandhaka and sublimation of the product is not dependent on the amount of Gandhaka. Taking note of this, the period of Mridu and Tivra Agni was not changed but the period of Madhyama Agni was increased twice of the normal ratio due to which an excess amount of Gandhaka gets more period for the burning, which is the main aim. Also, in the previous study, it was found that Samaguna and Dwiguna Sindura were prepared in 16-20 hrs. Here, an attempt was made to prepare the Triguna Balijarita Makaradhwaja in a minimum heating period, which was 12 hrs [Table 6] and [Table 7]. For this, many trial and error studies were carried out to finalize the temperature pattern. During the Kupipaka, flame of sulfur occurred at the neck of the Kupi after 7.30 hrs on an average, which was continued for 1.45 hrs [Table 7].

An average of 94.22% of the Makaradhwaja was prepared by the Swarna Patra with residue (gold powder) of 4.6%, also 76.2% of Makaradhwaja and 6.1% of gold powder was prepared by Swarna Varkha with 87.8% of Makaradhwaja and 3.9% gold powder was prepared by Swarna Bhasma [Table 8].

The first sample of Makaradhwaja prepared by Swarna Varkha was not properly sublimed due to irregular electrical power so that the average percentage of the final product of Makaradhwaja was decreased and residue (gold powder) was increased compared with the other two samples.

Analytically, there were no changes found in loss on drying, ash value, acid-insoluble ash and carbon disulfide extract.

But, in the ICP analysis for gold content, it was found to be 268 ppm in Makaradhwaja prepared by Swarna Varkha whereas in a previous study (Patgiri et al.), [20] Makaradhwaja prepared by Swarna Patra found only 7.5 ppm and also by author prepared Makaradhwaja prepared by Swarna Patra and Bhasma was found to be 131 ppm and 19 ppm. This variation found in the gold content may be due to the particle size of the raw material (gold), because the particle size of Swarna Varkha is least compared with the Swarna Patra and, in the Bhasma form, gold is not as elemental as the form of gold. Thus, here, it is observed that least particle size of elemental gold increases the gold content in the sublimed Makaradhwaja. This increased concentration of gold content in sublimed Makaradhwaja enhances the therapeutic efficacy of Makaradhwaja, which has been also observed in comparative clinical trials of Makaradhwaja prepared by Swarna Patra-Varkha and Bhasma on Madhumeha (diabetes mellitus), [21] and pharmacological studies also supports this.

   Conclusion Top

Makaradhwaja has been standardized in terms of time and temperature for 330-424 g. Kajjali (average), i.e. Mridu Agni: 100-250°C (2.5 hrs), Madhyamagni: 250-450°C (5 hrs), Tivragni: 450-600°C (4.5 hrs). Makaradhwaja prepared by least particle size of elemental gold increases the concentration of gold content in the sublimed Makaradhwaja [Figure 1].
Figure 1: The average temperature pattern for preparation of Makaradhwaja through the electrical muffle furnace

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   References Top

1.Dhundhukanath, Rasendra Chintamani, Mishra SN. Hindi commentary. Varansi: Chaukhamba Orientallia; 2006. 8/20-28 p. 112-3.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Sharma SN, Rasa Tarangini, Shastri KN. Hindi commentary. Delhi: Motilal Banarasi Das; 2004, 6 th /244. p.149.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Charaka Charaka Samhita Chakrapani Commentry Ayurveda Dipika. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Surbharti Prakashan; 2005 C. Su. 25/40. p. 131.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Prajapati PK, Joshi D. Makaradhwaja eka Vivechana. Sachitra Ayurveda Jan. 1998.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Prajapati PK, Singh AK. Joshi D, Acharya NC. The role of Gandhaka Jarana in the preparation of Samaguna and Shadaguna Rasasindura Ancient Science of Life Jul-Oct 1994.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Sharangdhara virachita Sharangdhara Samhita Adhamalas Dipika and Kashirams Gudhrthadipika. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Orientallia; 2005, Ma. Kha.11/2-4. p. 241.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Vagbhatta, Rasaratna Samuchchaya, Kulkarni DA. Hindi commentary. New Delhi: Meharchand Laxmandas publication; 1998 = 3/20. p. 45.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Bhatta KR. Siddha Bhaishajya Manimala, Bhatta RK. Hindi commentary. Varanasi: Krishna Das Academy; 2008, 5/4. p. 355.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Sharma SN. Rasa Tarangini, Shastri KN. Hindi commentary. Delhi: Motilal Banarasi Das; 2004, 15 th /59-61. p. 374.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Govind Das Sen, Bhaishajyaratnavali, Ambikadatta Shastri, Vidyotini Vyakhya. Vajikarana Rogadhikara. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthana; 2005. 74/114-123. p. 1126.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Panigrahi, Dwivedi LK, Chaugule A, Ashok Kumar (M. D.(Ayu.) dissertation work) A Radioprotective effects of Shilajatwadi Yoga w. s. r. to its Rasayana Karma" National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Dhundhukanath, Rasendra Chintamani, Mishra SN. Hindi commentary. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Orientallia; 2006, 8/20-28. p. 112-3.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Prajapati PK, Joshi D, Dube GP, Mohan Kumar, Prakash B, (M.D. (Ayu.) dissertion). Pharmaceutical and experimental study on Makaradhwaja'' by, Varanasi: BHU; 1994.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Prajapati PK, C B Jha, Mohankumar (Ph.D. thesis) Study on Makaradhwaja. Varanasi: BHU; 1998.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Prajapati PK, Jha CB. A experimental study on Makaradhwaja, Ancient Science of Life Apr 1997.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Chinta Durga, CB Jha, Mohan Kumar, Singh RG, Usha (M.D. (Ayu.) dissertion) Experimental and clinical study on Makaradhwaja. Varanasi: BHU; 1998.  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Patgiri BJ. Prajapati PK. (Ph. D thesis-2002). A pharmaceutical & toxicity study of Makaradhwaja prepared by Ashtasamskarita Parada, Jamnagar: IPGT & RA; 2002.  Back to cited text no. 17
18.Patgiri BJ, Prajapati PK. A pharmaceutical Standardisation of Makaradhwaja prepared. by Ashtasanskarita Parada; AYU Vol. 27 (1 and 2), IPGT & RA, Gujarat. 2006.  Back to cited text no. 18
19.Madhava Virachita Ayurveda Prakash, Gulraj Sharma Mishra. Suspashtaarthaprakashini Sanaskrita Hindi Vyakhya. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Bharti Academy; 2007 -1/167. p. 92-3.  Back to cited text no. 19
20.Patgiri BJ, Prajapati PK. (Ph. D thesis-2002) A pharmaceutical & toxicity study of Makaradhwaja prepared Ashtasamskarita Parada Jamnagar: IPGT & RA; 2002.  Back to cited text no. 20
21.Khedekar Sanjay, Patgiri B.J., Ravishankar B., Prajapati P.K., (M. D. (Ayu.) Dissertation) A Pharmaceutico- pharmacoclinical study of Makaradhwaja prepared. Swarna Patra - Varkha and Bhasma w.s.r. to Madhumeha (Diabetes Mellitus). Jamnagar: IPGT & RA 2009.  Back to cited text no. 21


  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8], [Table 9], [Table 10], [Table 11]

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