“Jo Bole So Nihaal, Sat Sri Akaal”
A holy slogan that binds every Sikh with love, purity, and truthfulness. Within these words, lies the divinity and the power of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh Guru, who popularized this Jaikara (Shout), almost 300 years back. Since then, this phrase has been an emblem of every Sikh’s heart.
Not only its echoes, but its meaning is equally powerful and sacred.
This phrase is divided into two parts. The first part, Bole so nihal, means “Whoever utters shall be happy, shall be fulfilled”. The second part, Sat sri akaal, means “Eternal is the Holy”.
Going deeper into their roots, the word, Sat, is derived from the Sanskrit word Satya, which means truth. Sri is an honorific word, and Akaal means the God. The word, Kal, is used to represent death and therefore, A-kaal, is something that defies death i.e God. .
The slogan is shouted at the end of ardas(prayers) recited in sangats.
The soul of this slogan lies in the origin of the Sikh culture.
The most profound change in the Sikh faith came when Guru Gobind Singh, holding a kirpan(Sword), asked a crowd of Sikhs, “Who among you can die for his faith”?
After a few moments of hesitation, one lone brave man followed Guru Gobind Singh into the tent. After a few seconds, a painful cry was heard, and only the Guru emerged from the tent, holding his sword, drenched in blood. Seeing this, an another brave man stepped forth, and the similar thing happened. Then, three more men strode into the tent, each of a different caste, ready to be slaughtered for their faith.
Finally, Guru Gobind Singh came out with the same five men, dressed in the khalsa attire, and lauded them for showing their unwavering belief in the Sikh culture. He baptized “the cherished five”, commonly called, The panj pyare, and he knelt down on his knees and asked them to baptize him.
These five beloved ones marked the beginning of the khalsa movement, that revolutionized the Sikh culture. On 30th March 1699, the first baptismal ceremony was held, and it was filled with the shouts of Sat Sri Akaal.