Sat Sri Akaal

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Sat Sri Akal (Punjabi: ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ, Pronunciation: sət sriː əkɑːl About this sound listen ) is a greeting in the Punjabi language used mostly by the followers of the Sikh religion. sat means truth, sri is an honorific word and Akaal (or Akal) means the timeless being, God and thus the phrase can roughly be translated to, “God is the ultimate truth”.

Sat Sri Akaal is exclusively used by Sikhs to greet each other, as their tenth master gave them the jaikara, “"Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akaal"”. The saying implies that the one will be blessed eternally who says that God is the ultimate truth.[1] In contrast, Punjabi Muslims living in the Western Punjab (Pakistani Punjab) use the Muslim greeting "As-salamu alaykum", and Punjabi Hindus use "Namaskar" or "Namaste".

"Sat Sri Akal" is used by Sikhs throughout the world when greeting other Sikhs, regardless of their native language. For instance, two members of the Punjabi Diaspora who exclusively speak English may still greet each other with this blessing, although this is not universal. The saying is also the only formal greeting in the Punjabi language.

The usage of Sat Sri Akal as a greeting, although used by the majority of people who identify themselves as being Punjabi Sikh, is regarded as incorrect usage by Amritdhari (Baptized) Sikhs, as the term is historically the second half of the Sikh war cry, "Bolay So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal", and is still used in the same way. As per the Sikh Rehat Maryada, or Code of Conduct, Amritdhari Sikhs greet each other with "Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh", meaning "The Khalsa of God, Victory is of God".

Defence battle cry[edit]

Three regiments of the Indian Army, the Punjab Regiment, Sikh Regiment, and Sikh Light Infantry use it as their battle cry.

[2] Their origin is Punjabi and Sikh in character, and the battle cry is often portrayed in Indian cinema Bollywood. By far Sat Sri Akal remains one of the most portrayed battle cry of the Indian army

Secular usage[edit]

Sat Sri Akal has become a part of secular usage as well, particularly in people of South Asian origin, particularly when they greet a Punjabi or a Sikh. While addressing Sikhs, particularly when armed with swords, non-Sikhs would use this greeting to approach them. In public gatherings, particularly in India, people often use many forms of greetings simultaneously saying hello, Salaam, Namaste, Sat Sri Akal in the same breath.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "First Gurpurab of Guru Nanak at White House in Washington". Punjab Newsline. 15 November 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Indian Army Battle Cries". Retrieved 19 May 2012.