* Magtymguly Pyragy:
(Persian: مخدومقلی فراغی Makhdumqoli Faraghi; Turkmen: Magtymguly Pragy) (1733–1783) was a Turkmen spiritual leader and philosophical poet who made significant efforts to secure independence and autonomy for his people in the 18th century.
*Education and early life:
Pyragy was born in the Haji Qushan village near Gonbad Kavoos city in the Iranian province of Golestan. He received his early education in the Persian and Arabic languages from his father Dowletmammet Azady (Persian: دولتمحمد عضدي), a leading scholar at that time. He went on to study and write poetry, developing a realistic style of writing about 18th century Turkmen that proved very popular and ultimately led to him becoming one of the most cherished Turkmen poets of all time. He was also a devout Sufist who was said to have travelled throughout all the lands comprising modern Turkmenistan, teaching and praying for the salvation of his people. Pyragy is buried in Aqtuqay village in north-eastern Iran. The Iranian government has inaugurated a mausoleum on his grave.
* Political ideals:
He promoted the idea of keeping the Turkmen way sacred, as well as maintaining the unity and integrity of the Turkmen nation. During his lifetime, his efforts had minimal success overcoming the existing triballoyalties and rivalries. In 1991, the state of Turkmenistan was established and President Niyazov’s writings, the Ruhnama – which includes some of Magtymguly Pyragy’s writings – began to be forcibly imposed on Turkmen society.
*History of Turkmenistan
* Essay on the life and works of the poet
*Full text of the Ruhnama, with select quotes mentioning Magtymguly Pyragy