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Ekabhukta – Taking Food Once On Ekadashi

Ekabhukta, the practice of eating only once during a 24-hour period, holds significance in the context of Ekadashi, the eleventh day of each lunar fortnight. This observance is considered a vrata or religious rite, with fasting being a key element. The term 'ekabhukta' literally translates to 'one meal' and allows individuals partaking in Ekadashi fasting to consume food only once in the prescribed time frame.

During Ekadashi, there are four types of fasting, and ekabhukta is the initial one. The customary time for partaking in the one meal during Ekadashi is generally set for a little after noon. This specific form of fasting carries spiritual and ritualistic significance for those adhering to the Ekadashi vrat.

Interestingly, the concept of ekabhukta is not limited to Ekadashi alone; it can be observed as an independent vrata. The Mahabharata extensively details the rewards and merits associated with practicing ekabhukta throughout the year, specifically from the Margasira month (November-December) to Kartik (October-November), as mentioned in the Anusasanaparva (107.13-126).

The act of observing ekabhukta is seen as a form of discipline and self-control, emphasizing moderation in dietary habits. It serves not only as a physical detoxification but also as a means to enhance spiritual awareness and connection. By limiting food intake to a single meal, individuals aim to redirect their focus inward, fostering a sense of mindfulness and devotion throughout the fasting period.