Krishna Pillai

Krishna Pillai, Henry Alfred Krishna Pillai was born into an orthodox Hindu Vaishnavite family in a small town called Karaiyiruppu in the Tirunelveli district. He received his early education in Tamil grammar and literature. Thereafter, he moved to Sawyerpuram in Tamil Nadu, where he was appointed as a Tamil teacher by Bishop Robert Caldwell.

Birth: 23-04-1827
Death: 03-02-1900
Native Place: Karaiyiruppu, Tirunelveli
Country: India
Place of Vision: South India

It was at Sawyerpuram that Pillai had his first encounter with Christianity. Once a visiting missionary to Sawyerpuram presented him a New Testament. Though he was reluctant in the beginning, slowly he began to read the New Testament and the Spirit of God moved his heart.

The ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross changed his life and he became the child of God. After being baptized at St. Thomas Church in Mylapore, Chennai, he was Christened as Henry Alfred.

Krishna Pillai ministry in Tamil Nadu

He was then appointed as a Tamil Pundit at Church Missionary Society College, Tirunelveli, in 1875. After his conversion, he sought to work on Christian Tamil literary works. He is known for using analogies from Hindu texts in his Christian writings. His hymns are still popular among Tamil Christians.

It is believed that he taught Tamil to the missionaries who served in South Tamil Nadu during his time, including Edward Sargent, Thomas Walker, and Amy Carmichael. After his retirement, he spent 16 years writing his book, ‘Ratchanya Yaatrigam’ (the journey of salvation, 1894), which is considered one of the most significant Tamil poetry works of the nineteenth century.

It was an adaptation of John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress in Tamil. Krishna Pillai was called ‘Christian Kamban’ because of his literary works which were at par with those of the great Tamil Poet, Kavichakravarthy Kamban. After accomplishing much for the Lord through his literary talents, Krishna Pillai left for heavenly abode in 1900. Krishna Pillai

Beloved, have you stirred up the gift of God for his service?

Take away from the article

“Lord, help me not to neglect the spiritual gift that you have given me. Amen!”

Word of Prayer

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