In Memorium – DGS Dhinakaran

It has been another long hiatus … probably the longest thus far. The reason for me being back is not a joyous one though, the loss of the only person I considered as my spiritual father and idol (Yes I said Idol).

Dr. DGS Dhinakaran, or to me (and tens of thousands of others) Dhinakaran Thatha (grandfather) was not one of those fire and brimstone preachers but a person who let the power God speak for itself. He responsible for the the life changing and saving experience that I had written about sometime back. That was the not the only impact he had on my life.

It all started with my father, searching for a job, dedicating his life to Jesus at one of Thatha’s meetings way back in 1987. He was probably the only person of The Word not ridiculed by my father and that is saying something. Through the years my family got to know him in a more personal way and got to see that he lived his life in accordance with what he preached.

I am not one given to fawning over people or idolizing them. One of the rare exceptions to that was Dhinakaran Thatha. He was not a God man but man of God, who was blessed with rare powers. For the pseudo secularist this may sound as hocus pocus, probably I would have been at the forefront of such thought if not for the miracle in my own life. I have seen him call out individual people from among hundreds of thousands. I have not seen a more strong proponent or knowledgeable person of the Bible. It was this biblical knowledge that made me aspire to be like him. He was not one of those “theological” or “modern” preachers, but a back to basic Bible believing evangelist. He was the most prominent Indian preacher of the last half a century and probably one of the most prominent ever. He transcended boundaries of race, creed, caste and social status.

All of it did not come easily to this did not come easily to him. It is a long way from the person who could not pass his bachelors for two consecutive years and was on the way to committing suicide at an early age of 20. His life changing moment came when his unsuspecting uncle led him to Christ on his way to the railway track. It was not all rosy after the conversion;Contrary to popular belief Christ does not offer a problem free life he offers free life through all problems of this world. The long list of sickness and troubles ranged from kidney failure, heart attacks, accidents with most bones in his body broken to the loss of his daughter. Through all this he had his family have been the beacon of God’s love to Millions. There were times when I have prayed that I wanted the powers that were manifest in his life, but I scaled back on them when I understood that all of this came at a great cost. Like he used to say, the only way that you could feel compassion for your fellow beings was to walk in their shoes, that my dear friend is not easy.

The character that I really wanted to imbibe from him was his study of the bible and his time on his knees. He could quote more scriptures than any person I knew and would buttress all that he said with the Word. He would also spend more time on his knees than any person I know. On a personal note, he was probably the only preacher that had my father’s full attention inspite of how tired I was which is saying a lot again for those of you who know him. There probably are more eloquent and charismatic preachers but none of the eloquence or charisma can help a person in need only the word of God could and that’s what you got from him with a whole lot of singing and wit.

He had his detractors, mostly from the Christian community who couldn’t couldn’t stand his fame or who wanted fame by criticizing him. It only galled them even more when he didn’t respond to their criticism. One incident stands out in my memory, when his daughter died a Pastor of a fundamentalist church sent him a letter stating that she was killed by God for have flowers on her hair (According to him too ostensible for a Christian).

His ministry was to the broken hearted, a ministry of Compassion. He could relate to him like few others could, just becasue of all that had happened in his life. He knew what it was like to loose a loved one, what it felt to be in constant physical pain and agony and the emotional pain of failure, poverty and ridicule. That was the cost he paid to bring hope to millions and to touch the lives of many more.

He was probably not the most famous or well known of men but to me he was somebody that I want to be like. Somebody who ran the good race and finished it with his head held high. Somebody who touched millions of life with his words of comfort and hope. Somebody who was instrumental in me having a second life.

I will always miss him!

P.S : I know this is not like my usual posts but this is personal.


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