Bole So Nihal

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Bole So Nihal (Punjabi: ਬੋਲੇ ਸੋ ਨਿਹਾਲ, meaning "Whoever utters, shall be fulfilled.") is part of the traditional greeting used by the followers of the Sikh religion and a call to action or duty.


Bole So Nihal...Sat Sri Akal is the Sikh slogan or jakara (literally shout of victory, triumph or exultation). It is divided in two parts or phrases. The first, "bole so nihal", is a statement meaning "whoever utters (the phrase following) shall be happy, shall be fulfilled," and the second part "sat sri akal" ("Eternal is the Holy/Great Timeless Lord"). This slogan, first popularized by Guru Gobind Singh, who said this when the mughals were ruling India. When the mughals responded this became the "jaikara." Aside from being a popular mode of expressing ebullient religious fervour or a mood of joy and celebration, it is an integral part of Sikh liturgy and is shouted at the end of ardas or prayer and said in sangat or holy congregation. One of the Sikhs in the sangat, particularly the one leading ardas, shouts the first phrase, "bole so nihal", in response to which the entire congregation, including in most cases the leading Sikh himself, utter in unison "sat sri akal" in a long-drawn, full-throated shout. The jaikara expresses the Sikh belief that all victory (jaya or jai) belongs to God, Waheguru, a belief that is also expressed in the Sikh salutation "Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh" ("Khalsa is of God and to God belongs the victory", or "Hail the Guru’s Khalsa! Hail the Guru’s victory!")


Sat Sri Akal has been so used through the 300-year history of the Sikh people, since the creation of the Khalsa. In a normal situation, when two Sikhs meet they exchange greetings by saying "Sat Sri Akal". Although it is now the customary Sikh greeting, it does not have the sanction of history or orthodoxy. "Wahiguru ji ka Khalsa Wahiguru ji ki Fateh", the other salutation, is generally used only by people punctilious in the observance of proper form. Those addressing a Sikh religious congregation will, as a rule, greet the audience with the salutation, "Wahiguru ji ka Khalsa Wahiguru ji ki Fateh". "Sat Sri Akal" shouted in unison responding to the call "bole so nihal" is a call to action, or expression of ecstatic joy or an invocation for Divine aid or succour. While sat or sati (Sanskrit satya) means ‘true’, ‘good’, ‘abiding’, ‘real’ and ‘eternal’, sri is an honorific denoting beauty, glory, grace or majesty.

Sati has the sanction of Guru Nanak’s Mool Mantra in the Japu where it appears, after Ik Onkar, as a constituent of Satinamu (Reality Eternal). Akal also occurs in Mul Mantra in the phrase Akal Murath (Form Eternal), descriptive of the Absolute.

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