Nakta, naktavrata

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

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.[1] For the sake of those who cannot fast completely, eating once in a day is permitted. This is of two types:

  1. Ekabhakta - In this one has to take his food in day-time, a little after noon.
  2. Nakta - It is 6 to 3 ghaṭikās[2] after sunset.

In observing nakta as a vrata,[3] one should take a small quantity of haviṣyānna[4] after bath, sleep on the ground and observe moral virtues like truth very strictly.


  1. It falls on the eleventh day after the full-moon and the new-moon.
  2. One ghaṭikā is 24 minutes.
  3. Vrata means religious vow.
  4. Haviṣyānna means plain boiled food without condiments and salt.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore