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Ainthinai Elupatu

Ainthinai Elupatu is a work of early Tamil literature. Ainthinai is a part of Patinen-Kilkkanakku (the eighteen minor words) of the Sangam age (250 – 700 CE) in Tamil literature. Aintinai Elupatu consists of five clusters of love poems on Sangam models. When the Sangam ideals are being questioned and even slighted in a new era of didacticism, the authors of Aintinai attempted to recreate those ideals in a changed situation with a fresh idiom and a new rhythm.

When the Sangam classics are anthologies, Ainthinai Elupatu texts are composed by individual poets. Another difference is that the poets in Aintinai invoke special deities. In Aintinai Elupatu, for instance, there is a invocation in praise of Vinayaka whose worship was unknown to Tamils until then. Vinayaka is depicted as the son of Shiva and praised as the dispeller of evils and a benefactor of his devotees.

The imagery of the poems is based on nature. Balarama was worshipped along with Bhagavan Sri Krishna by the Tamil people. Ainthinai texts reflect this. An example is a poem with the title Tinaimalai Nurraimpatu, about its heroine and her girlfriend visiting the sandy beach. The bluish-black sea and the white sand remind the friend of Bhagavan Krishna and Balarama. In the same text, the heroine compares the dark blue sky and the white moon to Bhagavan Sri Krishna and Balarama.

In poem, Ainthinai Simpati, the rain cloud is associated with three gods; when it is black it resembles Vishnu, when it thunders with lightning it is compared to the radiant Skanda (Subrahmanya) and when it rains it marks the konrai flower adorned by Shiva.