India

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Swami Vivekananda often spoke of the future greatness of India as surpassing all her glories of the past. ~ Swami Nikhilananda

India, also called the Republic of India, is a country in Asia. It is the second most populated country in the world, and 7th largest by land area.


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Quotes[edit]

India of the ages is not dead nor has She spoken her last creative word; She lives and has still something to do for herself and the human peoples. ~ Sri Aurobindo
India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of mature mind, understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all human beings. ~ Will Durant
If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India. ~ Max Müller
After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense. ~ Werner Heisenberg
Ancient civilizations of Greece, Egypt and Rome have all disappeared from this world, but the elements of our civilization still continue. Although world-events have been inimical to us for centuries, there is something in our civilization which has withstood these onslaughts. ~ Muhammad Iqbal

A[edit]

  • In India I found a race of mortals living upon the Earth, but not adhering to it. Inhabiting cities, but not being fixed to them, possessing everything but possessed by nothing.
    • Apollonius of Tyana, quoted in The Transition to a Global Society (1991) by Kishor Gandhi, p. 17, and in The Age of Elephants (2006) by Peter Moss, p. v
  • This also is remarkable in India, that all Indians are free, and no Indian at all is a slave. In this the Indians agree with the Lacedaemonians. Yet the Lacedaemonians have Helots for slaves, who perform the duties of slaves; but the Indians have no slaves at all, much less is any Indian a slave.
    • Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri, Book VII : Indica, as translated by Edgar Iliff Robson (1929), p. 335
  • India of the ages is not dead nor has She spoken her last creative word; She lives and has still something to do for herself and the human peoples. And that which must seek now to awake is not an Anglicized oriental people, docile pupil of the West and doomed to repeat the cycle of the Occident's success and failure, but still the ancient immemorial Shakti recovering Her deepest self, lifting Her head higher toward the supreme source of light and strength and turning to discover the complete meaning and a vaster form of her Dharma.
  • For what is a nation? What is our mother-country? It is not a piece of earth, nor a figure of speech, nor a fiction of the mind. It is a mighty Shakti, composed of the Shaktis of all the millions of units that make up the nation, just as Bhawani Mahisha Mardini sprang into being from the Shaktis of all the millions of gods assembled in one mass of force and welded into unity. The Shakti we call India, Bhawani Bharati, is the living unity of the Shaktis of three hundred million people …
    • Sri Aurobindo (Bhawāni Mandir) quoted in Issues of Identity in Indian English Fiction: A Close Reading of Canonical Indian English Novels by H. S. Komalesha
  • India is the guru of the nations, the physician of the human soul in its profounder maladies; she is destined once more to remould the life of the world and restore the peace of the human spirit. But Swaraj is the necessary condition of her work and before she can do the work , she must fulfil the condition.
  • The 'nation idea' India never had. By that I mean the political idea of the nation. It is a modern growth. But we had in India the cultural and spiritual idea of the nation.
    • Sri Aurobindo, Indias Rebirth, quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2001). Decolonizing the Hindu mind: Ideological development of Hindu revivalism. New Delhi: Rupa. p. 460
  • India is the only country which has known God and if anyone wants to know God he must know India.
    • Vecente Avelino, as quoted in A Tribute to Hinduism : Thoughts and Wisdom Spanning Continents and Time about India and Her Culture (2008), p. 196

B[edit]

  • The age in which true history appeared in India was one of great intellectual and spiritual ferment. Mystics and sophists of all kinds roamed through the Ganga Valley, all advocating some form of mental discipline and asceticism as a means to salvation; but the age of the Buddha, when many of the best minds were abandoning their homes and professions for a life of asceticism, was also a time of advance in commerce and politics. It produced not only philosophers and ascetics, but also merchant princes and men of action.
  • There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds. It was as if all my life I had been seeing the world in black and white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor.
    • Keith Bellows, Vice-President, National Geographic Society, as quoted in Think India: The Rise of the World's Next Superpower and What It Means for Every American (2007) by Vinay Rai and William L. Simon, p. 187
    • Keith Bellows, as quoted in ''Study in India - A Guide by Knowledge Must
  • The logic of the Greeks prevents them having the idea at all and it is to the Indian cultures that we must look to find thinkers who are comfortable with the idea that Nothing might be something.
    • John D. Barrow, The Book of Nothing (2009) chapter nought, "Nothingology—Flying to Nowhere"
  • The Indian religious traditions... accepted the concept of non-being on an equal footing with that of being. Like many other Eastern religions, the Indian culture regarded Nothing as a state from which one might have come and to which one might return.. Where Western religious traditions sought to flee from nothingness... a state of non-being was something to be actively sought by Buddhist and Hindus in order to achieve Nirvana: oneness with the Cosmos.
    • John D. Barrow, The Book of Nothing (2009) chapter one "Zero—The Whole Story"
  • The Indian system of counting is probably the most successful intellectual innovation ever devised by human beings. It has been universally adopted. ...It is the nearest thing we have to a universal language.
    • John D. Barrow, The Book of Nothing (2009) chapter one "Zero—The Whole Story"
  • The India I Love, does not make the headlines, but I find it wherever I go – in field or forest, town or village, mountain or desert – and in the hearts and minds of people who have given me love and affection for the better part of my lifetime.

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C[edit]

  • The area extending from the Himalayas in the north to the sea and a thousand yojanas wide from east to west is the area of operation of the King-Emperor.
    • Chakravarti-kshetra as described by Chanakya (Kautilya): Arthashastra 9:1:17 (tr. L.N. Rangarajan), quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2001). Decolonizing the Hindu mind: Ideological development of Hindu revivalism. New Delhi: Rupa. p.457
  • India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the equator.
  • I learned that Bharat is the most ancient source of living wisdom (spirituality) and that it has always generated its revelations world wide.
    • Keith Critchlow, an architect known for his works on sacred geometry and also a former professor of Islamic Art at the Royal College of Art in London. As quoted in "Indian Ethos and Values in Management", McGraw Hill India, 2011.
  • Powerful empires existed and flourished here (in India) while Englishmen were still wandering, painted, in the woods, and while the British Colonies were still a wilderness and a jungle. India has left a deeper mark upon the history, the philosophy, and the religion of mankind, than any other terrestrial unit in the universe.
    • Lord Curzon, while Viceroy of India, in his address at the Great Delhi Durbar in 1901. Quoted from Stephen Knapp, Mysteries of the Ancient Vedic Empire [1]

D[edit]

  • “India has many strengths which make it one of the greatest countries in the world. I believe India's greatest strength is the Indian people, in particular their spiritual devotion and purity. Many Indians see beyond illusion and understand the deeper meaning is best displayed by the custom of bowing of life. Perhaps this to the God within when greeting another person. Many Western people visit India to find spiritual inspiration, clarity and renewal. This focus on the deeper reality of humanity's oneness with nature and each other is needed to address growing environmental and social problems around the world. The Indian people model the peace, wisdom, love and respect needed to achieve the beautiful, prosperous, sustainable world that all humanity seeks.”
    • Frank Dixon, Former Director – Research, Innovest Venture Partners. As quoted in "Environmental Management", Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.
  • It is true that even across the Himalayan barrier India has sent to us such questionable gifts as grammar and logic, philosophy and fables, hypnotism and chess, and above all, our numerals and our decimal system. But these are not the essence of her spirit; they are trifles compared to what we may learn from her in the future. As invention, industry and trade bind the continents together, or as they fling us into conflict with Asia, we shall study its civilizations more closely, and shall absorb, even in enmity, some of its ways and thoughts. Perhaps, in return for conquest, arrogance and spoliation, India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of the mature mind, the quiet content of the unacquisitive soul, the calm of the understanding spirit, and a unifying, pacifying love for all living things.
    • Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage. Quoted from Stephen Knapp, Mysteries of the Ancient Vedic Empire [2]

E[edit]

  • We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.
  • Scant justice is done to her position in the world by those histories which recount the exploits of her invaders and leave the impression that her own people were a feeble, dreamy folk, sundered from the rest of mankind by their sea and mountain frontiers. Such a picture takes no account of the intellectual conquests of the Hindus. Even their political conquests were not contemptible and were remarkable for the distance if not for the extent of the territory occupied. ... But such military or commercial invasions are insignificant compared with the spread of Indian thought.
    • Sir Charles Elliot, HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM, [3] quoted in A Look at India From the Views of Other Scholars, by Stephen Knapp [4]

G[edit]

  • The English have taught us that we were not one nation before and that it will require centuries before we become one nation. This is without foundation. We were one nation before they came to India. One thought inspired us. Our mode of life was the same. It was because we were one nation that they were able to establish one kingdom. Subsequently they divided us.
    • Mahatma Gandhi: Hind Swaraj, Chapter ix [5]

H[edit]

  • Nesselmann observes that we can, as regards the form of exposition of algebraic operations and equations, distinguish three historical stages of development... 1. ...Rhetoric Algebra, or "reckoning by complete words." ...the absolute want of all symbols, the whole of the calculation being carried on by means of complete words, and forming... continuous prose. ...2. ...Syncopated Algebra... is essentially rhetorical and therein like the first in its treatment of questions, but we now find for often-recurring operations and quantities certain abbreviational symbols. ...3. ...Symbolic Algebra ...uses a complete system of notation by signs having no visible connection with the words or things which they represent, a complete language of symbols, which supplants entirely the rhetorical system, it being possible to work out a solution without using a single word of the ordinary written language, with the exception (for clearness' sake) of a conjunction here and there, and so on. Neither is it the Europeans posterior to the middle of the seventeenth century who were the first to use Symbolic forms of Algebra. In this they were anticipated many centuries by the Indians.
  • India as a land of Desire iced an essential element in general history. From the most ancient times downwards, all nations have directed their wishes and longings to pining access to the treasures of this land of marvels, the most costly which the earth presents, treasures of nature ‑ pearls, diamonds, perfumes, rose essences, lions, elephants, etc. ‑ as also treasures of wisdom. The way by which these treasures have passed to the West has at all tins been a matter of world historical importance bound up with the fate of nations.
    • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, quoted in Panikkar, K. M. (1953). Asia and Western dominance, a survey of the Vasco da Gama epoch of Asian history, 1498-1945, by K.M. Panikkar. London: G. Allen and Unwin.
  • After these conversations with Tagore some of the ideas that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense. That was a great help for me.
    • Werner Heisenberg, on conversations with Rabindranath Tagore, as quoted in Uncommon Wisdom: Conversations With Remarkable People (1988) by Fritjof Capra, who states of Heisenberg, that after these "He began to see that the recognition of relativity, interconnectedness, and impermanence as fundamental aspects of physical reality, which had been so difficult for himself and his fellow physicists, was the very basis of the Indian spiritual traditions."
    • Variant: After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense.

I[edit]

  • Ancient civilizations of Greece, Egypt and Rome have all disappeared from this world, but the elements of our civilization still continue. Although world-events have been inimical to us for centuries, there is something in our civilization which has withstood these onslaughts.

K[edit]

L[edit]

  • C'est de l'Inde que nous vient l'ingénieuse méthode d'exprimer tous les nombres avec dix caractères, en leur donnant à la fois, une valeur absolue et une valeur de position; idée fine et importante, qui nous paraît maîntenant si simple, que nous en sentons à peine, le mérite. Mais cette simplicité même, et l'extrême facilité qui en résulte pour tous les calculs, placent notre système d'arithmétique au premier rang des inventions utiles; et l'on appréciera la difficulté d'y parvenir, si l'on considère qu'il a échappé au génie d'Archimède et d'Apollonius, deux des plus grands hommes dont l'antiquité s'honore.
    • It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers using ten characters, giving these numbers simultaneously a value absolute and a value of position; a fine and important idea, which seems so simple now, that we hardly appreciate its merit. But this very simplicity, the extreme ease resulting in all calculations, place our system of arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions; and we appreciate the difficulty of achieving this, considering that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Apollonius, two of the greatest and most honored men of antiquity.
    • Pierre-Simon Laplace, Exposition du Système du Monde, Vol. 2 (1798) also quoted in Tobias Dantzig, Number: The Language of Science (1930).
  • You'd have to be brain dead to live in India and not be affected by Hinduism. It's not like Christianity in America, where you feel it only on Sunday mornings … if you go to church at all. Hinduism is an on-going daily procedure. You live it, you breathe it. … Hinduism has a playful aspect which I've not experienced in any other religion. Its not so righteous or sober as is Christianity, nor is it puritanical. That's one of the reasons I enjoy India. I wake up in the morning, and I'm very content.

M[edit]

  • If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of the Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw the corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human a life... again I should point to India.
    • Max Müller, India, What Can It Teach Us (1882) Lecture IV

N[edit]

  • Bharat has been an inspiration to me through her great gift to the modern world, Mahatma Gandhi, and the incredible tradition of spirituality from which he came. India doubtless needs some things today from the West -- not the ones she has chosen to adopt, namely the materialism and superficiality, rather the West’s efficiency and organization. But the West needs even more badly India’s humanity and spirituality, which is unrivalled by any culture I know of, past or present.
    • Michael Nagler, Professor Emeritus - Languages, University of California, Berkeley. As quoted in "Indian Ethos and Values in Management", McGraw Hill India, 2011.
  • Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment, we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.
  • Swami Vivekananda said that the four castes, by turn, governed human society. The brahmin dominated the thought-current of the world during the glorious days of the ancient Hindu civilization. Then came the rule of the kshattriya, the military as manifested through the supremacy of Europe from the time of the Roman Empire to the middle of the seventeenth century. Next followed the rule of the vaisya, marked by the rise of America. The Swami prophesied the coming supremacy of the sudra class. After the completion of the cycle, he said, the spiritual culture would again assert itself and influence human civilization through the power of the brahmin. Swami Vivekananda often spoke of the future greatness of India as surpassing all her glories of the past.
    • Swami Nikhilananda, Swami Vivekânanda : A Biography (1975); the "vaisya" represent those primarily living at the mercantile levels of human motivation, and the sudra represent the working class, or laborers.

P[edit]

  • Over the years of sovereign development your country has achieved impressive results in social-economic, industrial and scientific spheres. Today India as an authoritative member of world community plays an important role in UN, SCO, BRICS, other global and regional structures.
  • India represents the new world in a unique sense. Traditionally democracies were trying to bring equality to all walks of life, today there is a change. Democracy wants to enable every country to have the equal right to be different; it's a collection of differences, not an attempt to force or impose equality on every country. I think India is the greatest show of how so many differences in language, in sects can coexist facing great suffering and keeping full freedom... Many of the countries in the Middle East should learn from you how to escape poverty. You didn't escape poverty by getting American dollars or Russian Roubles but by introducing your own internal reforms and by understanding that the new call of modernity is science. In between the spiritual wealth of Gandhi and the earthly wisdom of Nehru, you combined a great performance of spirit and practice to escape poverty...I know you still have a long way to go but you do it without compromising freedom. The temptation when you're such a large country to introduce discipline and imposition is great but you tried to do it, to make progress not with force and discipline but in an open way. Many of us were educated on the literature of India when we fell in love we read Rabindranath Tagore and when we matured we tried to understand Gandhi.

R[edit]

  • Like every old civilisation still represented on this globe, India has been, and is, increasingly, in spite of appearances, returning to its original sources... It is from the depths of that old civilisation that India is most likely to draw the strength needed to adapt itself to the modern world.
    • Amaury de Riencourt, The Soul of India. Quoted in K.R. Malkani: Indian Express New Delhi, 27 July 1995 ‘One country, one people’ [Section V, 13. Secret of BJP’s success] and quoted from Time for stock taking, whither Sangh Parivar? Edited by Goel, S. R. (1997)

S[edit]

  • Indeed how many were the seers and sages, poets and prophets - right from the Vedic age upto the modern times - who had fostered in the nation's breast the integrated and whole picture of Bharat as the Divine Mother. Bharat, in their eyes, was not a mere clod of clay. It was verily the Matrubhoomi, the Punyabhoomi, the Dharmabhoomi, the Devabhoomi, the Karmabhoomi - all sublimated into one single majestic figure of Bharat Mata. To Bankimchandra, She appeared as the triple manifestation of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Durga. Rabindranath Tagore visualised Her as Devi bhuvana-mana-mohini - the divine enchantress of the world. To Swami Vivekananda, She was the Mother of all the thirty-three crores of gods and goddesses - whose worship would gratify all those myriad deities. Guruji Golwalkar visualised Her as Trinity of Mata - the loving mother, Pita - the protecting father, and Guru - the elevating spiritual guide. The unity of Bharat is so basic to its nature, so sublime in its depths - in fact, an inseparable aspect of its national soul.
    • H. V. Sheshadri: The Tragic Story of Partition, Bangalore Jagarana Prakashana 1982, p.9.
  • India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.
    • Hu Shih, quoted in Consolation of Mind (2004). by H. K. Suhas, p. 111.
  • We find among the Indians the vestiges of the most remote antiquity... We know that all peoples came there to draw the elements of their knowledge... India, in her splendour, gave religions and laws to all the other peoples; Egypt and Greece owed to her both their fables and their wisdom.
    • Pierre Sonnerat: Voyage aux Indes orientales et a la Chine, Paris, 1782. Quoted in A Look at India From the Views of Other Scholars, by Stephen Knapp [7]
  • The Indian way of life provides the vision of the natural, real way of life. We veil ourselves with unnatural masks. On the face of India are the tender expressions which carry the mark of the Creator's hand.

T[edit]

  • What India has been, the whole world is now. The whole world is becoming one country through scientific facility. And the moment is arriving when you also must find a basis of unity which is not political. If India can offer to the world her solution, it will be a contribution to humanity. There is only one history — the history of Man. All national histories are merely chapters in the larger one.
    • Rabindranath Tagore, "Nationalism in the West", 1917. Reprinted in Rabindranath Tagore and Mohit K. Ray, Essays (2007, p. 492).
  • I cannot but bring to your mind those days when the whole of Eastern Asia, from Burma to Japan was united with India in the closest ties of friendship...
    • Rabindranath Tagore, Essays, Nationalism in Japan, Atlantic Publishers & Dist, 2007 p.471, and quoted in A Look at India From the Views of Other Scholars, by Stephen Knapp [8]
  • This is indeed India! the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition, whose yesterdays bear date with the mouldering antiquities of the rest of the nations — the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the globe combined. Even now, after the lapse of a year, the delirium of those days in Bombay has not left me, and I hope never will.
  • Famine is India's specialty. Elsewhere famines are inconsequential incidents — in India they are devastating cataclysms; in one case they annihilate hundreds; in the other, millions.
    India has 2,000,000 gods, and worships them all. In religion all other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire.
    With her everything is on a giant scale — even her poverty; no other country can show anything to compare with it. And she has been used to wealth on so vast a scale that she has to shorten to single words the expressions describing great sums.
  • India had the start of the whole world in the beginning of things. She had the first civilization; she had the first accumulation of material wealth; she was populous with deep thinkers and subtle intellects; she had mines, and woods, and a fruitful soil. It would seem as if she should have kept the lead, and should be to-day not the meek dependent of an alien master, but mistress of the world, and delivering law and command to every tribe and nation in it. But, in truth, there was never any possibility of such supremacy for her. If there had been but one India and one language — but there were eighty of them! Where there are eighty nations and several hundred governments, fighting and quarreling must be the common business of life; unity of purpose and policy are impossible; out of such elements supremacy in the world cannot come. Even caste itself could have had the defeating effect of a multiplicity of tongues, no doubt; for it separates a people into layers, and layers, and still other layers, that have no community of feeling with each other; and in such a condition of things as that, patriotism can have no healthy growth.
    • Mark Twain, Following the Equator (1897), Ch. XLIII
  • So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or Nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his round. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked. Always, when you think you have come to the end of her tremendous specialties and have finished hanging tags upon her as the Land of the Thug, the Land of the Plague, the Land of Famine, the Land of Giant Illusions, the Land of Stupendous Mountains, and so forth, another specialty crops up and another tag is required. I have been overlooking the fact that India is by an unapproachable supremacy — the Land of Murderous Wild Creatures. Perhaps it will be simplest to throw away the tags and generalize her with one all-comprehensive name, as the Land of Wonders.

W[edit]

  • India is truly a mystery containing all that is the worthiest, most spiritual, and intellectual in humankind and the worst aspects of humankind one could ever hope to find including total lack of concern for others, extreme material poverty, and spiritual bankruptcy and fraud. India is the world in other words with everything in the world revealed both of the highest form and lowest denominator. I love India. I hate India. I cannot ever go to India without returned with strong feelings about it. My later writings would not be the same without my frequent stays in India and the influences that this country has had on my thoughts and feelings. If India did not exist, we would create it just as it is perfect in its imperfection.
    • Dr Fred Alan Wolf (Author of Taking the Quantum Leap: The New Physics for Nonscientists). As quoted in "Indian Ethos and Values in Management", McGraw Hill India, 2011.

Y[edit]

  • India is a nation of unfulfilled greatness. Its potential has lain fallow, under used.
    • Lee Kuan Yew in the second volume of his memoirs, published in 2000, quoted at [9]
  • India is an intrinsic part of this unfolding new world order. India can no longer be dismissed as a “wounded civilisation”, in the hurtful phrase of a westernised non resident Indian author (V.S. Naipaul).
    • Lee Kuan Yew - At the 37th Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture on 21st Nov 2005 in New Delhi, quoted at [10]

Z[edit]

See also[edit]

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