By Swami Harshananda
Nakta, naktavrata literally means ‘vow connected with night’.
Scriptures, especially the dharmaśāstras and the purāṇas, insist that able-bodied persons must observe fasting on ekādaśī days. For the sake of those who cannot fast completely, eating once in a day is permitted. This is of two types:
- Ekabhakta - In this one has to take his food in day-time, a little after noon.
- Nakta - It is 6 to 3 ghaṭikās after sunset.
- It falls on the eleventh day after the full-moon and the new-moon.
- One ghaṭikā is 24 minutes.
- Vrata means religious vow.
- Haviṣyānna means plain boiled food without condiments and salt.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore