“Blessed Lord” Means the Lord is Praiseworthy

By Ajit Krishna Dasa

One of the thousands of things that Jayadvaita Swami changed in the Bhagavad-gita As It is was the term “The Blessed Lord”.

There are some misconceptions about this term in the society of devotees. Even some native English speaking devotees believe that the term refers to a scenario where the Lord is being blessed (endowed) with a certain thing or attribute by one of his devotees.

Based on this misconception they consider the term “The Blessed Lord” as it is used in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is to be mistaken, and thus they support Jayadvaita Swami’s change to “The Supreme Personality of Godhead”.

I am quite amazed that native English speakers are not aware that the term “The Blessed Lord” or “to bless the Lord” means something completely different. I am also amazed to see how they criticise the term “The Blessed Lord” without bothering to look for it’s meaning in a dictionary or online.

Let us help them:

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And

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To learn more about how the term is used we need to nothing more than search the internet. There are loads of answers. In Christianity is perfectly normal to say “The Blessed Lord” and “Bless the Lord” in the sense of praising, glorifying and honoring God.

Here is something from an article that makes the point clear:

“There are two main things that we do when we bless the Lord.  The first is synonymous with giving thanks and praise.  Some translations actually say, “Give thanks to the Lord,” where others say, “Bless the Lord.”  So, blessing the Lord is praising Him and giving thanks to Him—for blessing us!  The other thing we do when we bless the Lord is to proclaim Him blessed.  Here I think I’ll have to make a distinction between “blessed” and “blessed.”  For clarity’s sake, this distinction is between “blessed” and “blest”—though I don’t really like that newfangled form of the word—the former in two syllables and the latter in one.  The former is a state of being, the latter a consequence of something have been done or given to someone.

When we call God blessed, we are saying something about who God is.He is blessed, which is a synonym for “holy.”  Blessed is God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  The Byzantine Divine Liturgy always opens with the glorious and magnificent “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, both now and forever and unto ages of ages!” When we speak of God as the recipient of our blessings (praises and thanksgivings), then He is blest.  May the Lord be forever blest!  Sometimes both meanings can apply simultaneously.When Our Lady said, “All generations shall call me blessed,” it means both that all generations acknowledge her holiness and that all generations acknowledge that she has been uniquely blest by God.”

When Jayadvaita Swami made the change from “The Blessed Lord” to “The Supreme Personality of Godhead” he did not used the above mentioned misconception as a justification. Perhaps he knew there was nothing wrong with the term. He attempted to justify his change in another way. His attempted justification will be the subject matter of an upcoming article.

Debate with Brahmananda Das (ACBSP) about the book changes

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Prabhupada speaks with Brahmananda
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The following exchange between Brahmananda Das (ACBSP) and myself took place on the Facebook profile of Palaka Dasa. I have deleted comments not related to the specific exchange between Brahmananda Prabhu and myself.

In ’72 Gita in every Text for the Sanskrit words “sri bhagavan uvaca” the Synonym is “The Supreme Personality of Godhead Said” but the Translation is “The Blessed Lord Said.” Why are the Synonym and the Translation for the same Sanskrit completely different? I think I know the answer to this but does Palaka Dasa and Ajit Krishna Dasa know?

Dear Brahmananda Prabhu! Dandavat pranam! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

The ultimate reason it is there is because Prabhupada approved it. He and Hayagriva worked on the BG before it was printed in 68. After that Prabhupada gave lectures from it and read it. And in a conversation he approved that the verses as they were in the 68 edition could be used for the 72 edition also.Another thing is that Prabhupada would often give one word in the word-for-word and another in the translation. That is often seen in his books. That is his prerogative as author. And it gives us the possibility to see both words.

All for now,
Your humble servant,
Ajit Krishna Dasa

Here is the place where Prabhupada approves of the verses from the 68 edition being used also for the 72 edition.

Prabhupada had all the chances in the world to change “The blessed Lord” to “The Supreme Personality of Godhead”, but he didn’t. Then on what authority can we change it?

Hayagriva: I would like to see that in going over mine. I’ll have to go over it chapter by chapter. But I will compare the version I have with that version, and… I know the translations themselves, they were somewhat changed in Bhagavad-gītā As It Is as it came out in Macmillan. Did you like those translations?
Prabhupāda: Whichever is better, you think. That’s all. You can follow this Macmillan.
Hayagrīva: That was the second… They’re good. I think they’re very good.
Prabhupāda: Yes. You can follow that translation. Simply synonyms he can add, transliterations.
Hayagrīva: And we have all the purports. We can include everything. Nothing will be deleted. Everything will be in there.
Prabhupāda: That’s all right.
(Discussion with BTG Staff, December 24, 1969, Boston)

 Brahmananda Das

BTW it was not Hayagriva who was the main editor of BG; it was Rayarama, who edited BG for two periods of time. I personally took the ms. away from H. and gave it to R. on SP’s order when H. went into maya. Till this day I still recall H.’s brutal words against SP when he wanted to crack our faith in SP. “The incident of Kirtanananda and Hayagriva chapter may now be closed. We shall always pray to Krishna for their recovery and we should not seriously take their counter propaganda. I am sure they will flap for some time without any effect on our Krishna Consciousness, service. Let us go ahead with our work and everything will be all right. Most important thing at present is to deal with MacMillan Co. Regarding editing of my books it was rightly entrusted to you from the very beginning but Kirtanananda wanted that the editing should be done by Hayagriva. But I understand from your version that in some places of Gita Upanisad he (Hayagriva) has followed Swami Nikilananda who is quite unaware of Krishna Consciousness. By their present behavior it appears that Hayagriva belongs to the same feather and Krishna has saved His Gita Upanisad by transferring the whole thing into your hands. Now please do your best and hand it over to MacMillan Co. for necessary action.” SPL to Rayarama 67/11/15

 Ajit Krishna Dasa

Dear Brahmananda Prabhu! Thanks for your answer.

I think the real question is not who was the main editor behind Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is or what the editors said or did. The main thing is Prabhupada’s relationship to his Bhagavad-gita As It Is. We find no information, as far as I can judge, in your statements or quotes that can be used as sufficient or necessary evidence to support any posthumous changes in Prabhupada’s books. It would be nice if you could point out precisely what you think is the necessary or sufficient evidence, so that we can all see and evaluate it. You said in your first comment that you had some special knowledge about how “The Blessed Lord” came to be in the translations. Maybe you can tell us about it?

Your humble servant,
Ajit Krishna Dasa

End of exchange