Gita Course Season 3


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The Gita Comes Alive - Season 3

Welcome to The Bhavagad Gita Comes Alive Weekly Class. Recordings are accessed in this section whether you missed a live class or want to watch one again.

  • Each week contains the discussion from Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi, a Q&A section with questions from participants, and detailed 'Chat' class notes with key concepts, mantras, and critical Sanskrit words and definitions to help your learning journey.
  • The Gita on the Go App in the green menu buttons above will allow you to follow along with the text, and take notes private to your account. 
  • The most recent class recording is posted about 48 hrs after the live class, when editing and processing are completed.
  • These classes are also connected to our Searchie© Streaming Video Service with full transcripts and searchability of the entire class. Click on the Search icon (magnifying glass) in the top right corner of the streaming video window. Type a keyword, for example "atma", and then click the 'blue' time markers to jump to that part of the live video each time the word "atma" was spoken in the class. Have fun learning! 

CLICK HERE TO GO TO SEASON 2

 

 

 

Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 1

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 1: The Agony of Arjuna

 

The third season of the Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive Learning Community has begun. Kavindra branches out from the Gita into the supported Puranic and Vedic knowledge. He utilizes a psychological perspective to clarify what has been labeled incorrectly as mythology (false) so that we can understand the true depths of the human condition.

We learn that the Bhagavad Gita is just one small but important part of the Mahabharata, the epic from Bharat taking place 7,582 years ago, which narrates the crucial moment in history where Shri Bhagavan—the ultimate and Supreme Being—came to Earth with all of his friends, the Devas.

Kavindra explains that the Battle of Kurukshetra wasn’t a fight between good and evil: it was a film projected from Brahman that was designed by Shri Bhagavan, a play staged between darkened and enlightened beings where the Devas were cast as all of the archetypal personages that should constitute our psychology.

This chapter introduces the first step of the Vedic curriculum which is to go from duratma, small-minded, to mahatma, big-minded. Kavindra emphasizes that Western psychology and all of Western civilization are duratma because they enforce the idea that humans live only one life. However, reading the Gita gives you a big worldview, and it is the user's manual on how to go beyond samskaras and burn off karmas.

  

 

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 2

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 2 - Part 1: A Concise Summary of the Bhagavad Gita

 

Chapter 2 deepens our initiation into the nuances of the Gita with a summary given by Bhagavan. We learn that we are similar to Arjuna. Our amnesia or “I am '' -nesia makes us forget who we are. Like Arjuna, we realize the most pivotal information about the human condition — that we as the atma cannot be killed because we do not live just one lifetime. We are the dehi within the deha.

Kavindra elaborates that our entire civilization is ignoring this fundamental principle with all of its might. We are not able to sustain the environment because science has taken away our direct relationship with cause and effect. We have lost our close bond with the trees and with the devas. We also forget that the devas live in a realm of their own, and that realm is the blueprint stage for our material archetypes, where devas create all that we see within a tangible state of matter.

The Vedic culture practices that every time you light a fire you should talk to the devas because you just evoked one – Agni. Whereas, science makes people believe that cavemen struck two rocks together and made fire, instead of acknowledging an archetype that is connected to a designed chain of existence with purposefulness.

  

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 3

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 2 - Part 2: A Concise Summary of the Bhagavad Gita

 

The beginning of the Gita addresses the fundamental questions of who we are and whether we can die, but it also focuses on the importance of taking refuge in the loving surrender to the wise discernment of the buddhi faculty. From there, Shri Bhagavan encourages us to spend everyday living as the atma, aware that we are the immortal dehi from Brahman who is ready to serve. It is then that we are able to taste the flavor of love that we sought within matter with Bhagavan directly.

Kavindra unpacks the invisible reality that holds everything up, explaining that humans are called naras and that the naras are resting within Narayana, aka Vishnu. When we are janma, born within matter, we go through endarkened moments feeling very strongly that we are either in the dark or in the light as we fear mrityu, or death.

While cycling through matter, forgetfulness overwhelms us because we are not aware that we are an atma, an immortal, who is temporarily covered with vrittis. Vrittis, the twistedness coming from everything orbiting the atma, are like a vortex that is winding strands of matter together so they look like a single entity—what we call “ourself.” Shri Bhagagavan explains that we should not lament this process of birth and death. Instead, we must experience rebirth. This isn't presented as some sort of religion to Arjuna. It is binary and should be left simple, allowing those who wish to listen to this conversation to fully realize that the atma cannot die.

 

  

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 4

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 2 - Part 3: A Concise Summary of the Bhagavad Gita

 

In Episode 4, we are presented with the human dilemma that we are stuck in the body, and almost no one has any explanation. We are wrapped up in prakriti, the cycle of matter, and it keeps going forward and forward. We need Bhagavan to teach us how to unwrap ourselves.

Kavindra summarizes the Vedic viewpoint by discussing the 4 kinds of yoga that optimize us through regular practice: ashtanga yoga, jnana yoga, karma yoga, and bhakti yoga. He explains that Abrahamic religions force people to ‘pray to the supreme or go home.” Whereas, the Vedic culture offers a worldview that is very scientific: its library contains the knowledge that we need to know for untwisting the identity that we are calling “self.”

 There is a misconception that the Vedic viewpoints have all come down as if they are in competition. In order to correct our understanding, Kavindra delves into the various branches of yoga, emphasizing that exclusivity, the assertion that there is only one conclusion for everyone, is in essence, the same as coercion. We should remember that Vedic vidya is not taught in this manner.

 The different branches of yoga are a progression of understanding. Ashtanga includes Patanjali’s 8 limbs and is the physical practice where we learn how to reembody and how to develop a yogic lifestyle. Jnana yoga teaches us how to scientifically identify the elements within matter by recognizing the distinction between them and the dasa indriyas, the 10 senses which are evenly organized into 2 main departments: perception and action.

 Karma yoga is the art of not identifying with matter while working with it which protects the doer from damage as a consequence of action. Lastly, bhakti yoga connects the atma to the emotional world and answers the yogic questions surrounding from whom did all of beauty arise?

  

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 5

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 3 - Part 1: Karma Yoga as correct action in the world

 

In Chapter 3, Krishna explains that to detach from the results of their actions, the karma yogi must restrain their 10 indriyas -- 5 perceptive senses and 5 active senses -- by means of the yamas and niyamas. These are the first 2 limbs of the 8-limbed ashta-anga (ashtanga) yoga (which must, by the way, be practiced in order).

To elucidate the yamas and niyamas, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi brought in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which explains that the very purpose of yoga is to remove the vrittis -- the twistedness of material experience -- so that the atma can see its own true form (sva rupa).

Further, the yogi must do every action as a yajna -- reciprocity with and gratitude for the devas and the ritam, the personal intelligences behind the laws of nature. Yajna is the basis of what we now call ecology.

In particular, it is incumbent upon us conscious humans to thank agni/swaha -- the fire in our belly and the fire which cooks our food, keeps us warm, and propels our civilization.

Kavindra challenged us: what will YOU do in your daily life to embody this more balanced, reciprocal way of being?!

  

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 6

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 3 - Part 2: Karma Yoga as correct action in the world & 

Chapter 4 - Part 1: Creation, Yugas & the Descent of Vedic Wisdom

 

In this week's Episode, Jeffrey Armstrong concludes Chapter 3 and begins Chapter 4. Full Summary & Scribe Notes coming.

  

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 7

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi & Nilesh N. Oak

Chapter 4 - Part 2: Creation, Yugas & the Descent of Vedic Wisdom

 

In this week's Episode, Jeffrey Armstrong concludes Chapter 4 and is joined by Nilesh Oak Ji for discussion. There is no Q&A for this Chapter to accommodate discussion with Nilesh Oak Ji.

In Chapter 4, Krishna describes how yajna is performed in different circumstances. We also gain a picture of the cosmological eras of time known as the yuga cycles. When we do yajna, we are giving back: we acknowledge that we are a part of a larger process that spans across great lengths of time.

Yajna is a medicine that cures selfishness and greed. Humanity has lost connection to the ritam, the laws of nature; we never follow life’s rhythm and therefore, the planet does not prosper. Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi explains that if we promise to cooperate with the ritam, life will flourish.

Doing a yajna also means being conscious of which actions cause harm. In order to eradicate any negative outcomes of causes and effects, the yogi must be in a reciprocal relationship with the devis and the devas and cooperate with their laws.

Because of colonization, humanity ignores the ritam causing mass destruction. The Gita is the how-to-manual that will help the world address this crisis. Kavindra emphasizes that we are a part of a Vedic Renaissance and that with the Vedic library, we establish a link to Brahman, the immortal realm.

  

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 8

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 5: The Atma and the City of Nine Gates

 

In the last class, we established the larger timeline in which our lives are occurring. In Chapter 5, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi expands upon Bhagavan’s metaphor that describes how the atma inhabits the body: we are each a mayor of our own city of nine gates where the cells in our bodies are citizens.

Our cells sing the songs of our ancestors. Kavindra asks us to visualize this music as energy floating around inside of our forms. As the atma, we must train the cells to sing a new song with yoga.

The mayor commands the cells, leading them to a singular perspective of a one-pointed focus upon who we really are. We realize aham brahmasmi: we are not our cells. Each one of us is an atma.

With this realization, we destroy the ignorance that covers us while in prakriti. Practicing jnana yoga gives us the ability to cut away doubt, releasing us from the bondage of our actions.

From there, Kavindra encourages us to readjust our attitude to the mood that “we are the best friends of Bhagavan.”

   

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 9

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 6: The Secrets of Ashtanga Yoga

 

In Chapter 6, Shri Krishna lays out the parameters of ashtanga yoga, the eight-limbed physical practice of yoga. The key to yoga is not to give up action, but rather to give up attachment to the results of action even while continuing to act.

There is a strong emphasis on the atma in this chapter and the need for the yogi to discipline their atma to be the atma. We must stop looking for pleasure and satisfaction outside of ourself in the material world. Rather, we should turn within and be self-satisfied within ourself as the atma and connect with Paramatma seated within our heart.

All the practices of ashtanga yoga are intended to focus and discipline the manas and buddhi so that we stop grasping at matter and the satisfaction we think it will provide us. Arjuna counters that this seems impossible to attain; the manas faculty is simply too chanchala – inherently unstable, fickle, and wavering. He is concerned that then one becomes not only a failed yogi, but a failure at material life as well!

Shri Krishna reassures Arjuna that the progress of a yogi is never lost. They may spend some lifetimes as devas, and then come back as humans to continue their yoga journey. Kavindra explained that this may be the reason behind the inexplicable popularity of yoga, especially in the west, where so many millions of people have been born into beneficial or affluent families and have the material luxury of continuing their yogic journey, but with enough dissatisfaction to keep searching beyond material fulfillment only. They rediscover yoga and the teachings about the atma, which they have forgotten because they have been covered over in matter for so many lifetimes.

Kavindra says, “If everyone just gets that they are the atma in this lifetime, I will be ecstatic.” The committed yogi’s motto is: "Always Remember and Never Forget” [that you are an atma]! Take back your knowledge that you are an atma and never give it up again.

   

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 10

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 6: The Secrets of Ashtanga Yoga - Part 2

 

In Chapter 5, we gained a contextual framework to discuss yoga. Now, Bhagavan encourages us to aspire for moksha, the state in which we are done with matter.

Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi reiterates that the point of yoga is not exercise: the point is to affirm aham brahmasmi. We are the atma, an immortal from Brahman.

We are not the temporary karana, the 5-elemental body. We may identify as the “self,” a term referring to a sylph in the forest but that is because we are covered and confused by dull matter.

In prakriti, things are not always as they appear. Prakriti is a mirage projecting from Brahman where conscious entities arrange unconscious energy. Under its influence, inert particles react to our luminous being, and as they orbit us, they compose our physical forms while building the structure of our antakarana, the subtle body.

However, each atma is tatasya, a marginal energy that shuttles back and forth between the darkness of prakriti and our luminous source.

We, as atmas, are victorious and achieve a state of balance when we turn our volition towards Brahman. With this awareness, we unite in yoga with Paramatma, who is Krishna in the heart.

   

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 11

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 7: The Perpetual Quest for Ultimate Knowing

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi leads us through Chapter 7 where Bhagavan Shri Krishna states in the 2nd verse: 

"I will explain in detail the jnana 'sacred knowledge' from which you will achieve vijnana 'ultimate knowing and perfect discernment'. Knowing this, nothing greater remains to be known in this world."

We realize that after living many births in the pursuit of jnana, we finally come to the conclusion ‘vasudeva sarvam iti’ — Vasudeva (Shri Bhagavan) is the vast source of all and is everything.

Shri Krishna reveals that we are under the influence of His gunamayi, His illusory divine energy. We are told that the ahamkara – the faculty that misidentifies the consciousness of the atma with the minute particles of matter – binds to rajas, tamas, and sattva gunas.

NOTE - Chat notes have been discontinued, so that students are encouraged to take a more active role in their own learning journey, use the Searchie function to read through the video transcript, and to summarize each Chapter on their own.

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 12

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 7 - Part 2: The Perpetual Quest for Ultimate Knowing

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi leads us through this pivotal Chapter 7 for a second time to emphasize key messages including:

Chapter 7, Verse 19 | #299: "Vasudeva Sarvam iti"

Bhagavan tells Arjuna that his favorite yogi is the one who acts for jnana, dedicated to acquiring knowledge about Him through eka bhakti – single-minded devotion – and friendship. They are priya – the most dear – to Shri Krishna. Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya. Be best friends with Bhagavan and know that it is all Vasudeva.

Kavindra explains that what we call our 5-element body is particles of matter or prakriti being held together by the central attraction of the atma, a small particle of Shri Bhagavan or Krishna, the most attractive Being. This is similar to the way in which the planets orbit the Sun, where each one of us is the center of a solar system. The material energy constantly distracts the atma, while those who surrender to Bhagavan can see past this temporary wall of matter. We begin to realize that the most amazing things and people we witness and experience in matter are, in fact, Bhagavan. The “flow” state people talk about - that top athletes and artists get into - is Bhagavan.

NOTE - Chat notes have been discontinued, so that students are more encouraged to take an active role in their own learning journey, use the Searchie function to read through the video transcript, and to summarize each Chapter on their own.

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 13

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 8: The Process of Attaining Knowledge of Brahman

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi begins Chapter 8. 

Chapter 8 really goes into the nuts and bolts of the Vedic wisdom. Shri Krishna gives Arjuna explicit definitions of key yogic concepts such as Brahman, the atma, and karma. We get detailed instructions on what a yogi is supposed to do at the time of the death of their body in order to leave samsara and achieve moksha – i.e., to go straight to Brahman and Bhagavan, the three-quarters of reality that is transcendental – rather than reincarnate in a body and in prakriti again – the one-quarter of reality that is material. Krishna also explains to Arjuna the vast cosmological context of the creation and destruction of universes within the lifetime(s) of Brahma, the “creator.”

NOTE - Chat notes have been discontinued, so that students are more encouraged to take an active role in their own learning journey, use the Searchie function to read through the video transcript, and to summarize each Chapter on their own.

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 14

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 8 - Part 2: The Process of Attaining Knowledge of Brahman

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi continues Chapter 8. 

NOTE - Chat notes have been discontinued, so that students are more encouraged to take an active role in their own learning journey, use the Searchie function to read through the video transcript, and to summarize each Chapter on their own.

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 15

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 9 - Part 1: The Secrets of Dharma and Devotion

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi begins Chapter 9. 

NOTE - Chat notes have been discontinued, so that students are more encouraged to take an active role in their own learning journey, use the Searchie function to read through the video transcript, and to summarize each Chapter on their own.

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 16

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 9 - Part 2: The Secrets of Dharma and Devotion

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi continues Chapter 9. 

NOTE - Chat notes have been discontinued, so that students are more encouraged to take an active role in their own learning journey, use the Searchie function to read through the video transcript, and to summarize each Chapter on their own.

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 17

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 10: The Heart and Majesty of Bhagavan

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi covers the seminal Chapter 10 as we begin the 2nd half of the Bhagavad Gita Comes Alive.

NOTE - Chat notes have been discontinued, so that students are more encouraged to take an active role in their own learning journey, use the Searchie function to read through the video transcript, and to summarize each Chapter on their own.

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 18

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 11: Cosmic Time and the Universal Form

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi covers Chapter 11. 

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 19

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 12: The Yoga of Love and the Secrets of Divine Seva

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi reviews Chapter 12. 

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 20

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 13 - Part 1: Discernment of the Quantum Field and Its Knower

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi introduces Chapter 13. 

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 21

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 13 - Part 2: Discernment of the Quantum Field and Its Knower

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi completes Chapter 13. 

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 22

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 14 - Part 2: The Gunas - The 3 Dynamic States of Matter

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi begins Chapter 14. 

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 23

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 15: The Supreme Being and the Tree of Life

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi discusses Chapter 15. 

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 24

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 16: Devas and Asuras: The Enlightened and Endarkened Beings

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi summarizes Chapter 15 briefly and continues to Chapter 16.

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 25

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 17: How the Gunas Modify Our Most Essential Actions: Shraddh, Yajna, Tapasya & Dana

 

This week, Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi covers Chapter 17.

 

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 26

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 18 - Part 1: Secrets of Moksha and the Final Goal of Yoga

 

This week Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi and Sandi Graham begin Chapter 18 and are joined by special guest, Nilesh N. Oak.

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 27

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 18 - Part 2: Secrets of Moksha and the Final Goal of Yoga

 

This week Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi and Sandi Graham continue the journey through the final Gita Chapter, #18, and are again joined by special guest, Nilesh N. Oak.

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Gita Comes Alive: Season 3 - Episode 28

With Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi

Chapter 18 - Part 3: Secrets of Moksha and the Final Goal of Yoga

 

This week Jeffrey Armstrong | Kavindra Rishi and Sandi Graham complete Season 3, of the final Gita Chapter, #18, and leave us with a powerful call to action. Be sure to listen for the beautiful kirtan from Jerry Devoine! 

Namaste and thank-you for being part of our community.

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--- END OF SEASON 3 ---

 

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