The Story of Saksi-Gopala

Back to Godhead - Volume 10, Number 11 - 1975

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This has always been one of my favorite stories, and has done much to increase my faith and understanding of deity worship in our temples.

…The brahmana youth returned to Vrndavana and began to pray to Gopala Krsna. “Dear Lord, You must come with me.” He was such a staunch devotee that he spoke to Krsna just as one would speak to a friend. He was not thinking that the Gopala was a mere statue or image, but he considered Him to be God Himself. Suddenly the Deity spoke to him:

“How do you think that I can go with you? I am a statue. I can’t go anywhere.”

“Well, if a statue can speak, he can also walk,” the boy replied.

The Story of Saksi-Gopala
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Gopinatha, Lord of the Gopis

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Gopinatha
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
translated from Bengali by Acyutananda Svami

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is one of the most important spiritual masters in the Krsna consciousness line of disciplic succession. His devotional songs and poems express the perfectional emotions of a pure devotee of Lord Krsna (Gopinatha).

O Gopinatha, Lord of the gopis, please hear my prayer. I am a materialistic rascal, always full of lust. I have no good qualifications.

O Gopinatha! You are my only resort. As Your eternal servant, I take shelter of Your lotus feet.

O Gopinatha! How can I uplift myself? I don’t know anything regarding devotional service. I am weak-minded and have fallen into a pit of illusion.

O Gopinatha! Everything here is but Your illusory energy. I have no power or pure knowledge, and and I am bound by a material body.

O Gopinatha! I desire to remain always at Your lotus feet. Please take this sinner, weeping and weeping, and show me Your mercy.

O Gopinatha! You can do anything. You have purified the most wicked by Your power, but who is more wicked than me?

O Gopinatha! You are the vessel of kindness. You enter into this mundane world and display Your sublime pastimes for the sake of the fallen souls.

O Gopinatha! I am the sinner of sinners. Yet I sit waiting for You to take me, for many demons have attained Your lotus feet.

O Gopinatha! Destroy the miseries of this world! I am strung on a necklace of births and deaths and cannot bear the kicking of maya.

O Gopinatha! I am a servant of lust, entangled in the net of material desire which has sprung up in my heart.

O Gopinatha! When will I wake up and cast this enemy of lust far from me? Then only will You be revealed to me in my heart.

O Gopinatha! I am Your own. By leaving Your lotus feet, forgetting Your treasures, I have served only maya.

O Gopinatha! You know everything. Take me to Your lotus feet and punish Your servant.

O Gopinatha! Is it to Your liking to reject me and not show me Your kindness?

O Gopinatha! I am the greatest fool. I don’t at all know what is good for me. I cannot understand anything. This is my fate.

O Gopinatha! You are the greatest intellect. Not considering that I am Your servant, judge me without bias.

O Gopinatha! I have no means of benefiting myself. By Your mercy and kindness, please pick me up from this miserable world and take me to You.

O Gopinatha! I have fallen into this dark world. Bound by wealth, wife and sons, I am feeling the pain of lust.

O Gopinatha! I am going mad! Never caring for spiritual practices, I am always unconscious and deeply sunk in the muck of sense gratification.

O Gopinatha! I surrender unto You. All my endeavors are a useless waste of time. Now I surrender unto You.

O Gopinatha! How shall I reach the goal? My mind is overwhelmed by the powerful senses. I cannot shake off attachment to worldly pleasures.

O Gopinatha! Please reside in my heart. Destroy these dangerous obstacles, correct my mind and guide me to Your own true path.

O Gopinatha! Please let Your glance fall on me. I am helpless, but You are Hrsikesa, the Lord of the senses. Please control my senses and pull me out of this world of dangers.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura prays: O Gopinatha! My voice is faltering. I must throw off these shackles and catch hold of Your mercy.

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Letters by Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada letters

In this letter to Mukunda dasa, Srila Prabhupada answers many relevant questions about the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master.

My Dear Mukunda,

Please accept my blessings. I thank you very much for your letter of June 3, 1969, and I have noted the contents carefully.

…The answer to your Istagosthi questions are as follows: Unless one is a resident of Krishna Loka, one cannot be a Spiritual Master. That is the first proposition. A layman cannot be a Spiritual Master, and if he becomes so then he will simply create disturbance. And who is a liberated person? One who knows Krishna.

…Your next question, whether the Spiritual Master was formerly a conditioned soul, actually a bona fide Spiritual Master is never a conditioned soul. There are three kinds of liberated persons. They are called 1) sadhan siddha, 2) kripa siddha, and 3) nitya siddha. Sadhan siddha means one who has attained perfection by executing the regulative principles of devotional service. Kripa siddha means one who has attained perfection by the special mercy of Krishna and the Spiritual Master, and nitya siddha means one who was never contaminated. The symptoms of nitya siddha is that from the beginning of his life he is attached to Krishna, and he is never tired of rendering service to Krishna. So we have to know what is what by these symptoms.

…You are correct when you say that when the Spiritual Master speaks it should be taken that Krishna is speaking. That is a fact. A Spiritual Master must be liberated. It does not matter if he has come from Krishna Loka or he is liberated from here. But he must be liberated. The science of how one is liberated is explained above, but when one is liberated, there is no need of distinction whether he has come directly from Krishna Loka or from the material world. But in the broader sense everyone comes from Krishna Loka. When one forgets Krishna he is conditioned, when one remembers Krishna he is liberated. I hope this will clear up these points. I hope this will meet you in good health.

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The Appearance of Śukadeva Gosvāmī

Srila Sukadeva Gosvami and Maharaja Pariksit

Some time ago I started to re-read the Srimad Bhagavatam from the beginning. This morning I finished the first canto. It is with great pleasure I post the final chapter in the First Canto entitled “The Appearance of Śukadeva Gosvāmī”

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Canto 1,Chapter Nineteen

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Seasons Greetings

Gaur Niti 2013 200

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Don’t Be A Crazy Fellow, Be Patient and Return Home

Srila Prabhupada

“Be patient and return home. Don’t be a crazy fellow. By and by you will be able to cross the ocean of material existence. You should not make yourself a showbottle devotee and become a false renunciant. For the time being, enjoy the material world in a befitting way and do not become attached to it. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued: “Within your heart, you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man. Thus Kṛṣṇa will soon be very pleased and deliver you from the clutches of māyā.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta: Madhya-lila Chapter 16, Text 237-239)

I have always liked this verse, it is sage advise for anyone practicing spiritual life (self-realization), in this age. “Within your heart, you should keep yourself very faithful, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man.” It is not that everyone who is interested in practicing Krishna Consciousness must artificially renounce the world, shave their head, put on robes, become a nun or monk, and live in a temple. No the instruction is here; “enjoy the material world in a befitting way and do not become attached to it.”

The peace and happiness for which we are all hankering for life after life, moment after moment, we will get when our desires become purified, and dovetailed with the Lord. One who desires sense gratification, the enjoyment of material satisfaction, will never be happy. That is not possible. If you want peace, if you want happiness, if you want perfection in your life, then just begin to dovetail your desires, activities, and potentials with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then you will see what real happiness is, and can tell who is really crazy.

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Cow Protection is Essential For Peace

Govinda with cows

O Kṛṣṇa, O friend of Arjuna, O chief among the descendants of Vṛṣṇi, You are the destroyer of those political parties which are disturbing elements on this earth. Your prowess never deteriorates. You are the proprietor of the transcendental abode, and You descend to relieve the distresses of the cows, the brāhmaṇas, and the devotees, You possess all mystic powers, and You are the preceptor of the entire universe. You are the almighty God, and I offer You my respectful obeisances.
(Prayers by Queen Kunti—Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.8.43)

…When Kuntī prays, go-dvija-surārti-harāvatāra, she indicates that Govinda, Kṛṣṇa, descends to this world especially to protect the cows, the brāhmaṇas, and the devotees. The demoniac in this world are the greatest enemies of the cows, for they maintain hundreds and thousands of slaughterhouses. Although the innocent cows give milk, the most important food, and although even after death the cows give their skin for shoes, people are such rascals that they kill the cows, but still they want to be happy in this world. How sinful they are.

…Why is cow protection so much advocated? Because the cow is the most important animal….Nonetheless, the present human society is so ungrateful that they needlessly kill these innocent cows.

Kṛṣṇa is worshiped with this prayer:

namo brahmaṇya-devāya
go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca
jagad-dhitāya kṛṣṇāya
govindāya namo namaḥ

“My Lord, You are the well-wisher of the cows and the brāhmaṇas, and You are the well-wisher of the entire human society and world.” For perfect human society there must be protection of go-dvija—the cows and the brāhmaṇas.

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First Day of Winter 2013: The Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice at Stonehenge1
3500 people attend the Sunrise of the Winter Solstice celebrations at Stonehenge in Wiltshire England

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Today marks the beging of winter, or the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year.

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Disappearance Day of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura

Srila-Bhaktisiddhanta

Today we are honoring the disappearance of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura , the spiritual master of our Srila Prabhupada.
We honor him with a lecture given by Srila Prabhupada given on on Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s disappearance day in 1969.

Lecture on the Disappearance Day of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Los Angeles, December 9, 1969 [691209DB.LA]

(Prabhupada leads kirtana)

Prabhupada: Hare Krsna. Come on. I was thinking of “Where is Jayananda?” now immediately he has come. (someone brings some kind of offering and Srila Prabhupada says to give it to his Guru Maharaja) Take care it may not fall down. (pause) All right.

So today is the disappearance day of my Guru Maharaja.

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Godly Men Endowed with Divine Nature

Vaikunta Man

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It is clear from the above photo, that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami is not of this world. He was a Vaikuntha Man. He was an extraordinary personality with all the divine qualities as described in following verse…

The Blessed Lord said: Fearlessness, purification of one’s existence, cultivation of spiritual knowledge, charity, self-control, performance of sacrifice, study of the Vedas, austerity and simplicity; nonviolence, truthfulness, freedom from anger; renunciation, tranquility, aversion to faultfinding, compassion and freedom from covetousness; gentleness, modesty and steady determination; vigor, forgiveness, fortitude, cleanliness, freedom from envy and the passion for honor—these transcendental qualities, O son of Bharata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature. (Bg. 16.1-3)

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The Spiritual Sky

Universe

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…In this material world we find that everything is temporary. It comes into being, stays for some time, produces some by-products, dwindles and then vanishes. That is the law of the material world, whether we use as an example this body, or a piece of fruit or anything. But beyond this temporary world there is another world of which we have information. This world consists of another nature which is sanātana, eternal. (from the Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

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The Holy Name of Lord Kṛṣṇa

Nectar of Instruction

Continuing with our series on the Nectar of Iststuction (Upadeśāmṛta), we are posting Text 7, the very important instructions given by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī on chanting the holy names of the Lord.

The holy name, character, pastimes and activities of Kṛṣṇa are all transcendentally sweet like sugar candy. Although the tongue of one afflicted by the jaundice of avidyā [ignorance] cannot taste anything sweet, it is wonderful that simply by carefully chanting these sweet names every day, a natural relish awakens within his tongue, and his disease is gradually destroyed at the root.

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The Life of a Sincere Devotee of the Lord

Chanting  Hare Krishna

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The following is a nice verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam spoken by Narada Muni. As I was looking for an image for this post, I thought I should put up a picture of Him. But then it hit me, this verse could have just as easily been spoken by Srila Prabhupada! In fact it was.

Thus I began chanting the holy name and fame of the Lord by repeated recitation, ignoring all the formalities of the material world. Such chanting and remembering of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord are benedictory. So doing, I traveled all over the earth, fully satisfied, humble and unenvious.

The life of a sincere devotee of the Lord is thus explained in a nutshell by Nārada Muni by his personal example. Such a devotee, after his initiation by the Lord or His bona fide representative, takes very seriously chanting of the glories of the Lord and traveling all over the world so that others may also hear the glories of the Lord. Such devotees have no desire for material gain. They are conducted by one single desire: to go back to Godhead. This awaits them in due course on quitting the material body. Because they have the highest aim of life, going back to Godhead, they are never envious of anyone, nor are they proud of being eligible to go back to Godhead. Their only business is to chant and remember the holy name, fame and pastimes of the Lord and, according to personal capacity, to distribute the message for others’ welfare without motive of material gain.

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Sriman Vibhu Chaitanya Prabhu

Vibhu Chaitanya Prabhu

I was at my Facebook page this morning and there was this nice remembrance of Vibhu Chaitanya Prabhu that was written by Deena Bandhu Prabhu with the above beautiful picture. I couldn’t resist making it a permanent post.

Sriman Vibhu Chaitanya Prabhu
by Deena Bandhu dasa

Our very dear Godbrother Vibhu Chaitanya Prabhu’s 6th Disappearance anniversary was celebrated today. One of the sweetest devotees I’ve ever known. Prabhupada told him he didn’t have to chant rounds, just cook for Krishna Balaram and sing! So from 3am to 10pm with a break for lunch and rest, you could find him in the Deity kitchen singing the most relishable melodies of Hare Krishna and cooking for his Lords! Even up to old age (90+)! Sadly came the day he couldn’t do it anymore, so he served caranamrita for a few years! When he firmly grasped your arm to put it in your palm, it was like transcendental electricity! Finally he couldn’t even walk so here you see him sitting in his wonderful bhajan kutir, that he made look just like Goloka! Vibhu Chaitanya Prabhu ki jaya!

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The Rtvik Representative Of The Acharya

Hencefoward poster 1

The following is an article, I have wanted to include for some time now, which was written by Krsnacandra Prabhu and posted on his page Prabhupadvision.com. In light of our recent post entitled Sri Madhu Pandit’s Official Reply to the EC we feel it is timely, and of utmost importance to our society that we understand the issues. Although our page is not intended as a political forum, it is a tool in the mission of our spiritual master, for the propagation of The Hare Krishna Movement or Krishna Consciousness.

Now that Śrīla Prabhupāda has named these representatives Temple Presidents may henceforward send recommendations for first and second initiation to whichever of these eleven representatives are nearest their Temple.

After considering the recommendation, these representatives many accept the devotee as an initiated disciple of Śrīla Prabhupāda by giving a spiritual name, or in the case of a second initiation, by chanting on the Gāyatrī thread just as Śrīla Prabhupāda had done.

The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Śrīla Prabhupāda, to be included in Divine Grace’s “Initiated Disciples” book. (from July 9th letter)

The Rtvik Representative Of The Acharya
by Kṛṣṇacandra Dāsa – Vṛndāvan:

Shortly after His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Śrīla Prabhupāda entered into his Samādhi līlā in 1977; 11 of his senior disciples and members of the GBC who held the official position of representatives of His Divine Grace in 1st and 2nd spiritual initiations [as per July 9th Document], without authority and without an order by His Divine Grace announced themselves to be pure devotees of the Lord and forcibly seized the titles, roles and functions of acharyas and Initiating Spiritual Masters of ISKCON.

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A Player and His Playthings

Game of Chess

As a player sets up and disperses his playthings according to his own sweet will, so the supreme will of the Lord brings men together and separates them. (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.13.43)

…Generally the law of karma is that one is awarded the result of one’s own actions…A rich man gets his son born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but the child who came as the rich man’s son deserved such a place, and therefore he is placed there by the will of the Lord… but in special cases, by the will of the Lord, such resultant actions are changed also. But this change can be affected by the will of the Lord only, and no other. Therefore, the example of the player cited in this verse is quite appropriate, for the Supreme Will is absolutely free to do whatever He likes, and because He is all-perfect, there is no mistake in any of His actions or reactions. These changes of resultant actions are especially rendered by the Lord when a pure devotee is involved. (from purport)

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Gita Jayanti; The Advent of Srimad Bhagavad-gita

Krishna and Arjuna

So today is The Advent of Srimad Bhagavad-gita; Gita Jayanti. It is celebrated on the Ekadasi, 11th day of the waxing moon of Margashirsha month (November-December). In honor of this day we present the Complete 1972 Edition of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami in the PDF format for you to read or save to your computer. Also we include a link to our other page Prabhupadagita Where you can read the entire book online a chapter at a time with the original illustrations.

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Delivery of the Message of Kṛṣṇa to the Gopīs

Uddhava, Radharani and the gopis

I like this image very much and found the text to go with it. It is from the 46th chapter of Krsna The Supreme Personality of Godhead. We have posted the entire chapter for anyone who has the time or inclination to read it. Enjoy!

…When the gopīs understood that Uddhava had a message from Kṛṣṇa, they became very happy and called him to a secluded place to sit down. They wanted to talk with him very freely and did not want to be embarrassed before unknown persons. They began to welcome him with polite words, in great submissiveness.

…Uddhava understood that the gopīs of Vṛndāvana were all simply absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa and His childhood activities. While talking about Kṛṣṇa with Uddhava, they forgot all about their household business. They even forgot about themselves as their interest in Kṛṣṇa increased more and more.

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First Nectar of Devotion Lecture

Nectar of Devotion 1970 Edition

The Nectar of Devotion Lecture
Los Angeles, June 23, 1970

Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa.

So we have published our Nectar of Devotion.

So every one of you should read this Nectar of Devotion repeatedly.

The whole substance of Vaiṣṇava philosophy and activities, everything is there.

So every one of you read this Nectar of Devotion once, twice, thrice.

Unless you have got full-fledged ideas what is this devotional service… That was written by… Actually, it was spoken by Lord Caitanya to Rūpa Gosvāmī. For ten days continually He instructed Rūpa Gosvāmī at Prayāga, Daśāśvamedha-ghāṭa. You have seen the picture in TLC. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was at Allahabad, Prayāga, and Rūpa Gosvāmī met Him there. He was offering obeisances flat. You have seen that picture. So at that time Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally gave him instruction what is this cult of bhakti. So for ten days. And he took note of it and later on he placed this book in the form of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. That is in Sanskrit. It will be difficult for you. Therefore I have presented a summary study, and the summary study has come to 407 pages. If we would have elaborately described each and every verse, then it would have come to at least thousand pages.

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Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa’s Official Reply to EC

Madhu Pandit das

This is the ongoing dispute between ISKCON Bangalore and ISKCON Mumbai with Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa’s official reply to EC, followed by the EC Letter to Madhu Pandit Dasa. Hopefully all this will be settleded up someday, and devotees can go back to serving the mission of Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya, and work together again in the spirit of cooperation.

Sri Madhu Pandit Dasa’s official reply to EC
By: Madhu Pandit Dasa, Bangalore.

Dear Tamohara prabhu, Anuttama prabhu, and Praghosa prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

We beg to acknowledge your letter dated 27th Oct 2013 addressed to three of us. I had immediately replied to your above letter on 28th October stating that we will respond to it soon. I noticed several discrepancies vis-a-vis what transpired in the meeting as you have stated. There were many things in the your letter which did not represent accurately and completely what transpired in our discussion in Chennai with HH Jayapataka Swami, HH Bhanu Swami and Dayaram Das. Probably it is due to miscommunication and partial communication from the source where you got the information (from one of the bureau members). It is understandable considering that it is second hand information and those who presented it also probably wanted to dilute it hoping against hope for some serious reforms in ISKCON and was shooting off our shoulders to achieve the same.

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Previous Older Entries

108 Imporant Slokas from the 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is

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The Hare Krishna Cookbook

Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Bhagavad-gita As It Is 1972 Edition “Online”

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Srimad Bhagavatam Online

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Raja-Vidya the King of Knowledge

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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A Short Statement of the Philosophy of Krishna Consciousness

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July 9th Letter

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The Hare Krishna Explosion

Reference Material/Study Guide

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