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The four MahaVakyas of the Upanishads that can change your perspective about God !

prasad1

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The Mahavakyas (mahāvākyam, महावाक्यम्) are “The Great Sayings” of the Upanishads, as characterized by the Advaita school of Vedanta.

The 4 Mahavakyas​

1. प्रज्ञानम् ब्रह्म | Prajnanam Brahma


Meaning
: Consciousness is Brahman

Brahman is that which is Absolute, fills all space, is complete in itself, to which there is no second, and which is continuously present in everything, from the creator down to the lowest of matter. It, being everywhere, is also in each and every individual. This is the meaning of Prajnanam Brahma occurring in the Aitareya Upanishad.

2. अयम् आत्मा ब्रह्म | Ayam Atma Brahma


Meaning
: This self is Brahman

This Self is Brahman, which is the substance out of which all things are really made. That which is everywhere, is also within us, and what is within us is everywhere. This is called ‘Brahman’, because it is plenum, fills all space, expands into all existence, and is vast beyond all measure of perception or knowledge. On account of self-luminosity, non-relativity and universality, Atman and Brahman are the same. This identification of the Self with Absolute is not any act of bringing together two differing natures, but is an affirmation that absoluteness or universality includes everything, and there is nothing outside it.

3. तत् त्वम् असि | Tat Tvam Asi



Meaning
: I am Brahman , I am Divine

In the sentence, ‘ Aham Brahmasmi,’ or I am Brahman, the ‘I’ is that which is the One Witnessing Consciousness, standing apart form even the intellect, different from the ego-principle, and shining through every act of thinking and feeling. This dictum is from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

4. अहम् ब्रह्म अस्मि | Aham Brahma Asmi

Meaning
: I am Brahman , I am Divine
In the sentence, ‘ Aham Brahmasmi,’ or I am Brahman, the ‘I’ is that which is the One Witnessing Consciousness, standing apart form even the intellect, different from the ego-principle, and shining through every act of thinking and feeling. This dictum is from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

 
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prasad1

prasad1

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Discrimination of the Mahavakyas​

‘CONSCIOUSNESS IS BRAHMAN’​

There are four Mahavakyas, or great statements in the Upanishads, which have a profound significance as pointers to Reality. They are: (1) Prajnanam Brahma – Consciousness is Brahman; (2) Aham Brahmasmi – I am Brahman: (3) Tat Tvam Asi – That Thou Art; (4) Ayam Atma Brahma – This Self is Brahman.

These Mahavakyas convey the essential teaching of the Upanishads, namely, Reality is one, and the individual is essentially identical with it. In the sentence, ‘ Prajnanam Brahma’ or Consciousness is Brahman, a definition of Reality is given. The best definition of Brahman would be to give expression to its supra-essential essence, and not to describe it with reference to accidental attributes, such as creatorship etc. That which is ultimately responsible for all our sensory activities, as seeing, hearing, etc., is Consciousness. Though Consciousness does not directly see or hear, it is impossible to have these sensory operations without it. Hence it should be considered as the final meaning of our mental and physical activities. Brahman is that which is Absolute, fills all space, is complete in itself, to which there is no second, and which is continuously present in everything, from the creator down to the lowest of matter. It, being everywhere, is also in each and every individual. This is the meaning of Prajnanam Brahma occurring in the Aitareya Upanishad.

‘I AM BRAHMAN’​

In the sentence, ‘ Aham Brahmasmi,’ or I am Brahman, the ‘I’ is that which is the One Witnessing Consciousness, standing apart form even the intellect, different from the ego-principle, and shining through every act of thinking, feeling, etc. This Witness-Consciousness, being the same in all, is universal, and cannot be distinguished from Brahman, which is the Absolute. Hence the essential ‘I’ which is full, super-rational and resplendent, should be the same as Brahman. This is not the identification of the limited individual ‘I’ with Brahman, but it is the Universal Substratum of individuality that is asserted to be what it is. The copula ‘am’ does not signify any empirical relation between two entities, but affirms the non-duality of essence. This dictum is from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.

‘THAT THOU ART’​

In the Chhandogya Upanishad occurs the Mahavakya, ‘ Tat Tvam Asi’ or ‘That thou art’. Sage Uddalaka mentions this nine times, while instructing his disciple Svetaketu in the nature of Reality. That which is one alone without a second, without name and form, and which existed before creation, as well as after creation, as pure Existence alone, is what is referred to as Tat or That, in this sentence. The term Tvam stands for that which is in the innermost recesses of the student or the aspirant, but which is transcendent to the intellect, mind, senses, etc., and is the real ‘I’ of the student addressed in the teaching. The union of Tat and Tvam is by the term Asi or are. That Reality is remote is a misconception, which is removed by the instruction that it is within one’s own self. The erroneous notion that the Self is limited is dispelled by the instruction that it is the same as Reality.

‘THIS SELF IS BRAHMAN’​

The Mahavakya, ‘Ayam Atma Brahma’ or ‘This Self is Brahman’, occurs in the Mandukya Upanishad. ‘ Ayam’ means ‘this’, and here ‘thisness’ refers to the self-luminous and non-mediate nature of the Self, which is internal to everything, from the Ahamkara or ego down to the physical body. This Self is Brahman, which is the substance out of which all things are really made. That which is everywhere, is also within us, and what is within us is everywhere. This is called ‘Brahman’, because it is plenum, fills all space, expands into all existence, and is vast beyond all measure of perception or knowledge. On account of self-luminosity, non-relativity and universality, Atman and Brahman are the same. This identification of the Self with Absolute is not any act of bringing together two differing natures, but is an affirmation that absoluteness or universality includes everything, and there is nothing outside it.

 

renuka

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Although all the above is the Truth but in real life we dont really apply it.
In acute danger everyone screams "God or someone help me"

No one screams Aham Brahmaasmi when in danger.
Even Jesus(pbuh) who spoke the same as The Father and I are One also cried on the cross when crucified "Eli Eli Lema Sabachthani (My God, My God, why have Thou forsaken me)

So somehow the Mahavakyas though technically true and spot on is never really put in practice..so the Vaishnavas win hands down here cos they scream out for NarayanAAAAAAAA for each and every situation be it happy or in danger.

So you see when we are mildly dualistic we can win both ways.

Who are you going to call in danger O' Prasad Ji?

If you call "Brahman! save me"..that means its not Aham Brahmaasmi and in the final moments you realize you are NOT an Advaitin!

If you scream "Aham Brahmaasmi" no one would know you are in danger , they might think you are in samadhi and not help you.

If you scream Narayana..Vaagmi Ji would run and save you.

If you scream Allahu Akbar, no one dare come near you thinking you might detonate yourself.

If you scream Jesus save me. He might reply and tell you to say "Eli Eli Lema Sabachthani"


Vaishnava track record is good.
Ajamila called out Narayana, he got saved.
Gajendra called out Narayana, he got saved.

I am not a Vaishnava but I am telling you, their track record is an evidence based one!
 
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prasad1

prasad1

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If you call "Brahman! save me"..that means its not Aham Brahmaasmi and in the final moments you realize you are NOT an Advaitin!

Why would an Advaitin need saving?
That is a contradiction because one fails to understand the true nature of the self.

Coming back to reality has anybody ever be saved by the almighty (any religion)?
We have stories but no reality.
So if you are waiting to be saved good luck.
 

renuka

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Why would an Advaitin need saving?
That is a contradiction because one fails to understand the true nature of the self.

Coming back to reality has anybody ever be saved by the almighty (any religion)?
We have stories but no reality.
So if you are waiting to be saved good luck.
When danger stares at our face..whether God helps us or not we do keep wishing for some form of assistance from a higher power.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

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When danger stares at our face..whether God helps us or not we do keep wishing for some form of assistance from a higher power.
Again, If I am Atman. where is a separate higher Power?
I am not at that stage yet.


Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verse 20​







न जायते म्रियते वा कदाचि
नायं भूत्वा भविता वा न भूय: |
अजो नित्य: शाश्वतोऽयं पुराणो
न हन्यते हन्यमाने शरीरे || 20||
na jāyate mriyate vā kadāchin
nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ
ajo nityaḥ śhāśhvato ’yaṁ purāṇo
na hanyate hanyamāne śharīre


The eternal nature of the soul has been established in this verse, which is ever-existing and beyond birth and death. Consequently, it is devoid of the six types of transformations: asti, jāyate, vardhate, vipariṇamate, apakṣhīyate, and vinaśhyati “Existence in the womb, birth, growth, procreation, diminution, and death.” These are transformations of the body, not of the self. What we call as death is merely the destruction of the body, but the immortal self remains unaffected by all bodily changes. This concept has been repeatedly emphasized in the Vedas. The Kaṭhopaniṣhad contains a mantra almost identical to the above verse of the Bhagavad Gita:

na jāyate mriyate vā vipaśhchin nāyaṁ kutaśhchin na babhūva kaśhchit

ajo nityaḥ śhāśhvato ’yaṁ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śharīre
(1.2.18) [v25]

“The soul is not born, nor does it die; it did not spring from something, and nothing sprang from it. It is unborn, eternal, immortal, and ageless. It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.” The Bṛihadāraṇyaka Upaniṣhad states:

sa vā eṣha mahān aja ātmājaro ’maro ’mṛito ’bhayaḥ (4.4.25) [v26]

“The soul is glorious, unborn, deathless, free from old age, immortal, and fearless.”

The eternal nature of the soul has been established in this verse, which is ever-existing and beyond birth and death. Consequently, it is devoid of the six types of transformations: asti, jāyate, vardhate, vipariṇamate, apakṣhīyate, and vinaśhyati “Existence in the womb, birth, growth, procreation, diminution, and death.” These are transformations of the body, not of the self. What we call as death is merely the destruction of the body, but the immortal self remains unaffected by all bodily changes. This concept has been repeatedly emphasized in the Vedas. The Kaṭhopaniṣhad contains a mantra almost identical to the above verse of the Bhagavad Gita:

na jāyate mriyate vā vipaśhchin nāyaṁ kutaśhchin na babhūva kaśhchit

ajo nityaḥ śhāśhvato ’yaṁ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śharīre
(1.2.18) [v25]

“The soul is not born, nor does it die; it did not spring from something, and nothing sprang from it. It is unborn, eternal, immortal, and ageless. It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.” The Bṛihadāraṇyaka Upaniṣhad states:

sa vā eṣha mahān aja ātmājaro ’maro ’mṛito ’bhayaḥ (4.4.25) [v26]

“The soul is glorious, unborn, deathless, free from old age, immortal, and fearless.”

 
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prasad1

prasad1

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अविनाशि तु तद्विद्धि येन सर्वमिदं ततम् |
विनाशमव्ययस्यास्य न कश्चित्कर्तुमर्हति || 17||
avināśhi tu tadviddhi yena sarvam idaṁ tatam
vināśham avyayasyāsya na kaśhchit kartum arhati

BG 2.17: That which pervades the entire body, know it to be indestructible. No one can cause the destruction of the imperishable soul.

Intellectually I am there but spiritually I am still seeking.
 

renuka

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Gold Member
Prasad ji,

I know everything you quoted is totally spot on and the ultimate but in actual life fear will lurk when life is threatened and also as much as we try to say "I am not the body" we are still very much the body too.

Once a person came to see me cos he wanted to sign up for classes and he was going on and on telling me he is a realized soul, he is not the body anymore, he is not more identifying with his outer shell, he has no name etc..he is atma , he is an advaitin and so on.

He was telling me "You wont even know what I am"

Then as he was leaving I called out his name.
He turned around and said "yes..you called me"

Get it??

for all the cock and bull he was talking..he still responded to his name.

Believe me I see lots of cases like this out here.
 

tbs

Well-known member
hi doctor,


Vaishnava track record is good.
Ajamila called out Narayana, he got saved.
Gajendra called out Narayana, he got saved.

I am not a Vaishnava but I am telling you, their track record is an evidence based one!

even im not vaishnava....you punch it......even though im advaitin.....i can't live without

NARAYANA.....even kanchi sankaracharyas words ends with....NARAYANA...so practical

NARAYANA CAN SAVE US....NOT AHAM BHRAHMASMI OR TATVAMASI...SAME GITA SAYS....

SARVA DHARMAN PARITYGYA MAAMEKAM SARANAM VRJA...

SO SRI KRISHNA SAYS.....EVEN UPANISHAD SAYS......EKAM SAT VIPRAH BAHUDHA VADANTI....

FINALLY SAGUNA BRAHMAN VICTORY OVER NIRGUNA BRAHMAN FOR PRACTICAL LIFE...
 
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prasad1

prasad1

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Prasad ji,

I know everything you quoted is totally spot on and the ultimate but in actual life fear will lurk when life is threatened and also as much as we try to say "I am not the body" we are still very much the body too.

Once a person came to see me cos he wanted to sign up for classes and he was going on and on telling me he is a realized soul, he is not the body anymore, he is not more identifying with his outer shell, he has no name etc..he is atma , he is an advaitin and so on.

He was telling me "You wont even know what I am"

Then as he was leaving I called out his name.
He turned around and said "yes..you called me"

Get it??

for all the cock and bull he was talking..he still responded to his name.

Believe me I see lots of cases like this out here.
If in your dream state you are being chased by a Tiger, the tiger appears real till you wake up. But in the dream, you pray to everybody because of your ignorance.

Similarly, we pray to everybody including Narayana, thinking some external force is needed. Enlightenment will make it clear that you are the only one and there is no other.

All others are stories by mortals still ignorant and are meant for ignorant.

If you believe that you saw a snake in a dark room, only light can dispel your myth, that snake you saw is a rope. Similarly the ignorant believe that there is an external force needed to save you, but in reality, there is no external force needed.
 
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prasad1

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Long ago when I read a poem from the vairAgya shataka of BhartRRihari about vairAgya � dispassion or non-attachment — little did I know that it was an important concept in Vedanta and that it was also an important preparatory stage for acquiring self-knowledge. BhartRRihari devoted about hundred stanzas on various facets of dispassion. A particular sloka is quite interesting, which, translated freely, runs as follows.​

In sensual indulgence, there is the fear of disease; in noble birth there is fear of fall from status; in wealth, there is the fear of king snatching away (in the good old days of kings); in honour there is fear of losing it; in strength, there is fear of a stronger enemy; in beauty there is fear of old age; in erudition there is fear of a stronger scholar, in virtuousness there is fear of the villainous, in the human body there is the fear of Death and likewise in all things in life except in �non-attachment where alone there is fearlessness. (sloka 31).

All conceivable types of paranoia are visualized in the above poem by the philosopher-king who knew all stages of life before becoming a recluse. The paranoia of strong nations with regard to others, the fierce competition of the multinationals, the vested interest of the elite in society, the anxiety of the beauty queen, and all such are touched by the writer. Such fear does not appear to be a natural or necessary instinct for survival, but it seems to be a socially acquired trait arising out of the desire to excel and arising out of the idea of losing something that we have. In the language of Vedanta, this behavior can be identified to be the by-product of rajo-guNa, the propelling characteristic for all human activity.

Taking a cue from this we cannot try to practice vairAgya � non-attachment. It could be a false vairAgya if we do so. vairAgya is the state of vi+rAga � one whose rAga or attachment has disappeared. Getting rid of attachment involves a lot of effort on one's part because it is a natural law that our senses develop either rAga (attachment), or dweSha(dislike) for the sense objects(Gita 3-34).

Shankara explains this further. The seeker attains AtmabhAvam � true nature of Self, and the cause of fear, i.e. ignorance, is absent. He no longer sees anything other than the Self. Perception of duality is only in the avidyA or state of ignorance only. Somebody is generally afraid of someone else, but not of himself.

How does he develop fear? The same passage of taittirIya continues: yadA hyevaiSha etasminnudaramantaraM kurute atha tasya bhayaM bhavati. tattveva bhayaM viduSho.amanvAnasya.(2-7)

The slightest deviation from the Self causes distortion in view. Shankara gives the example of a person having an eye disease who sees two moons. Bhedadarshanam or seeing duality, according to him, is a disease to be avoided. The words �ut aram� in the above quote means �a little bit�. Even a little bit of distraction from Self causes fear. Such deviation suddenly diminishes his stature, making him a finite and delimited person and draws a line between himself and the God who suddenly gets created. He moves from I-am-Brahman mode into worshipper-worshipped mode. Such a person, even if he is learned, should be considered unwise.

bRRihadAraNyaka tells the same; dwitIyAd vai bhayaM bhavati � fear is due to perception of the second, i.e. one other than himself(1-4-2). A free rendering of the mantra is like this:

In the beginning, the creator prajApati (not the absolute Brahman) noticed that he was alone and he became afraid. He then contemplated as to the reason for fear and realized that there is nothing else than the Self. By that realization he became free from fear; indeed, fear is due to the perception of the second.



Am I fearless NO, I would like to be, yes?
 
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prasad1

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Loosely speaking, the fear of the self that it will disappear along with the body may be called the psychological fear. The usual response of the separate self to the psychological fears may take one of the two forms: i) In aggrandizing itself; ii) In playing as the victim. So the separate self wants what it doesn’t have or dislikes what it has. Both feelings, however, have one common reason behind – the inability of the separate self to be with what-IS the totality of the situation. In other words, it resists what-IS. Fear is the name we give to this ‘resistance.’

In contrast, the pure Self is like open space. The open space objects to nothing does neither get attached to nor does it get affected by anything that goes on within it. The open space does not operate any form of decision-gates to allow or disallow a situation or event or object to come in or go. In fact, the sense of separate self is none other than that judgmental decision-gate exercising its own likes and dislikes. The judgmental separate self measures all arising things in terms of either being helpful or harmful for its own perpetuation.
_______________________________________________________________

Simply put, brahman does not or cannot know any fear because there is no ‘other’ for brahman to know. Awareness knows Itself by just being Itself. One can think of two metaphors in arriving at a “conceptual” understanding of this statement. The metaphors are not strictly correct but could work as helpful approximations.

 
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prasad1

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The manifest God is like a King. So you tend to pray to Him for favors. So in Panic when you call for Narayana, Allah, or Jesus, it is your ignorance due to false stories you grew up on. In reality, none of them can save you.

That God is a false god. Only Brahman exists and is real.
Sri Sankaracharya sums up the entire message of Vedanta in three crisp aphorism like sentences. They are :


(a) Brahma Satyam, (b) Jagat Mithya, and (c) Jivo Brahmaiva naparah.

The awakening of limited Jiva to the realm of limitless Brahman is not a journey in the realm of time, but it is by transcending the very time, by right knowledge. Karma is a means to attain something in the realm of time, so it is not really relevant here. With karma, we attain that which is unattained. In karma, we turn our attention to that which should be rather than that which is. So in order to awake to our true self, one has to keep aside all cravings to 'do or achieve something. One has to relax and be highly observant and see some fundamental facts of life & our true self. That which is limitless & infinite is not something to be attained but that which is to be known. It is already attained, one should realize that 'I am already that', We just have to directly know it. All sadhanas are directed only for this ultimate goal of life. This is the objective of sanyas & Moksha. Drop the hankering for everything, relax, and see that which alone is.


Consequences of the opposite :

If a person does not understand & see these facts directly then it is obvious that the fellow will take resort to that which is its opposite. Let us see what will be the consequences of that. Such a person is too fascinated by the glare of the world, he will remain an extrovert, and also an eternal seeker. To live an ego-centric existence will be his destiny, and to face the music of egocentricity an unavoidable fact. Inside him, there will always remain a sense of lack and outside he will continuously keep on seeking something or the other. He will take worldly things too seriously, and will be able to go to any extent for achieving such worldly things. Such people alone play dangerous games with nature and will still not be satisfied with it. Resorting to that which is opposite amounts to create & produce the devils. Communicating these tenets of Vedanta alone amounts to helping the individual in particular & also the world at large. This is what all Rishis declared, this is what Lord Ram & Krishna lived and this is what Bhagwan Sankaracharya worked & lived for. Let us go into these deep and see these facts of life. Let us redeem ourselves with true knowledge.
 

renuka

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Dear Prasad ji,

I agree with everything you wrote.
But what if you really face a tiger in real life when you accidently fall into a cage of a tiger that hasnt eaten for a long time and that too a man eater?

Now, that fear is real.
You would be fearing for your life and at that time you would scream for help from someone or some higher power too for help.

This is what I am talking about.
 

renuka

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Dear Prasad Ji,

You wrote : That God is a false god. Only Brahman exists and is real.

From what I understand of your writings, you are projecting a "my way or the highway "concept too just through the cloak of Advaita.

Neti Neti is not about everything else is false and only Brahman is true.
If you say everything is false and only Brahman is true..its just that same an Abrahamic rejecting the Devil and saying God is true.

Get what I mean?

So what exactly is Jagat Mithya Brahman Sathya and Neti Neti.

Not this! Not this! from my understanding is not a rejection and neither an affirmation.
Its a statement that is a paradox, that is you are not supposed to define Brahman and stop at any point.
Because Brahman means vastness..you cant have a locus on the "axis" of Brahman.

If you stop anywhere you have committed the mistake of defining Brahman.
Technically I should not even use the word "axis" of Brahman hence i put it in inverted commas.

So by you out rightly rejecting everything else as false gods you have made up a mental construct of how you want you idea of Brahman to be and that my dear is also NETI NETI.

So what does an Advaitin really need to do?

Honestly he has to submit! Submit to the Universal Consciousness without any attributes or form etc.
Yes! Its not easy..hence we have Saguna forms which use a form or a name or even a direction.

Even Islam though they claim formless worship its not..cos they have direction and revere the holy verses.
The human mind needs a Saguna.
Only when they mind can step back and go into non reactive mode only then there is a shift in consciousness where thinking and awareness separate which we call an Awakening.

Only that stage it the stage where nothing else exists besides Brahman..only that is Advaita.
Hence everything else was called Neti Neti becos it wasnt the state of Ekam Advitiyam Brahman and it was "Mithyam" till the state of Advaita manifests.

I hope I am clear.
Most videos on Advaita we find and most write ups just dont really get this point.
 
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prasad1

prasad1

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You have your views and others will have their own. So I will leave it at that.

That is why there are multiple philosophies, and one can choose the one that meets their needs.
 

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