Elathi is a Tamil poetic work of didactic nature belonging to the Pathinenkilkanakku anthology of Tamil literature. This belongs to the 'post Sangam period' corresponding to between 100 – 500 CE. Elathi contains 80 poems written by the poet Kani Methaviyar. The poems of Elathi are written in the Venpa meter.
Elathi uses the analogy of the traditional herbal medicine known as elathi which uses six herbs such as elam (cardamom), ilavanka pattai (cinnamon), naagakesaram (made from the stamens of the Ceylon ironwood), milagu (black pepper), thippili (long pepper), and sukku (dried ginger). Elathi similarly uses six different maxims to illustrate correct behaviour.It tells us about six values of every aspects of life in every poems in four lines.
The following poem lists the six things, namely, fame, wealth, integrity, courage, education and philanthropy that add beauty to those who follow the scriptures.
சென்றபுகழ், செல்வம், மீக்கூற்றம், சேவகம்
நின்றநிலை, கல்வி, வள்ளன்மை - என்றும்
அளிவந்தார் பூங்குழலாய் ஆறும் மறையின்
வழிவந்தார் கண்ணே வனப்பு
- Mudaliyar, Singaravelu A., Apithana Cintamani, An encyclopaedia of Tamil Literature, (1931) - Reprinted by Asian Educational Services, New Delhi (1983)
- http://www.tamilnation.org/literature/pathinen/pm0029.pdf Elathi eText at Project madurai
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