The karit (कारिट) fruit (Cucumis melo var. agrestis) plays a small but significant part in the Diwali festivities. After the traditional bath at dawn on the morning of Diwali, it is customary to stamp and split open the fruit by the heel of the foot and taste a little of the bitter juice before commencing feasting on the sweet and savoury goodies. The mythological significance of this ritual is the liberation of the oppressed masses from the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna, who killed the demon by stamping him underneath the heel of his foot.
On this festive occasion today, let us recognise the metaphorical substance of this tradition and endeavour to cleanse our mind by destroying the evils of anger, greed, hate, pride and vanity that tend to fester within our self, and look at this world through a cleansed soul filled with benevolence, compassion, empathy, love, temperance and respect.
I wish you all, and your loved ones, a Happy Diwali!
– Narendra Nayak © 2019