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Mahaguru Thangal (Karippur Abdul Salam) (not yet WM)

Mahaguru Thangal (Karippur Abdul Salam) (not yet WM)

© Parvathy Baul & Ravi Gopalan Nair


Mahaguru Thangal was a great Siddha who belonged to the school of Mast Kalandar, who lived his life in Trivandrum.

Born in a Muslim family, in Nedumangad and studied Arabic.

At a very young age he became Maulvi of a Mosque.

Then he met Gafoor Ali of Ajmer Sharif, who transmitted spiritual teachings to Mahaguru Thangal which unfolded into a mystical journey.

Ever since that special event, Mahaguru Thangal gave up his life as a scholar and religious priest.

He became Mast and moved in the lanes of the small town of Nedumangad for years.

Local people have witnessed many instances of miraculous healing by this master.

People started calling him Thangal, meaning respected spiritual elder. 


This woodcut depicts a key phase of his life.

Here Thangal is seen sitting in the triangular space in the middle of the road.

The triangle depicts Goddess Bhadrakali of whom Mahaguru Thangal was a great devotee.

He is seen seated on the nibs of the pen while books are being burnt in the flame.

This image depicts his transition from being a scholar to becoming a spiritual master.

His space of spiritual practise was always a busy and noisy street.

He is seen drinking alcohol and smoking, depicting his attitude of non-conformism with conventional ways of life.

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