Jhatka or Chatka meat (Hindi: झटका, Punjabi: ਝਟਕਾ) is meat from an animal that has been killed by a single strike of a sword or axe to sever the head, as opposed to ritualistically slow slaughter (Kuttha) like the Jewish slaughter or Islamic slaughter (dhabihah). It is the method preferred by many Sikhs,Hindus and Christians. Jhatka is one of highly debatable topic, among different scholars and sects in Sikhism as they do not accept all or some of the Sikh Granths/Scriptures as true. But As stated in the official Khalsa Code of Conduct as well as the Sikh Rehat Maryada, Kutha meat is forbidden, and Sikhs are recommended to eat the Jhatka form of meat. Dal Nihangs state that the consumption of Jhatka meat, known to them as 'Mahaparshad',is necessary for a warrior of the Khalsa to attain 'Bir Ras', the essence of a warrior. The one and only Alternative is Shikaar meat (Meat of a Hunted Animal).
On Jhatka, Mahankosh(Punjabi language encyclopedia which was compiled by Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha) states following:
ਝਟਕਾ - jhatakā - झटका: ਸੰਗ੍ਯਾ- ਝੋਕਾ. ਧੱਕਾ. ਝੜਾਕਾ। ੨. ਸੱਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ ਕਹਿਕੇ ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਰ ਦੇ ਇੱਕ ਵਾਰ ਨਾਲ ਜੀਵ ਦਾ ਸਿਰ ਵੱਢਣਾ।¹ ੩. ਝਟਕੇ ਹੋਏ ਜੀਵ ਦਾ ਮਾਸ.
ਝਟਕਾਉਣਾ - jhatakāunā - झटकाउणा: ਕ੍ਰਿ- ਤਲਵਾਰ ਦੇ ਇੱਕ ਝੋਕੇ ਨਾਲ ਜਾਨਵਰ ਦਾ ਸਿਰ ਵੱਢ ਸਿੱਟਣਾ. "ਆਨਹੁ ਛਾਗ ਇੱਕ ਝਟਕੈਂ ਨਿਜ ਪਾਨਾ." (ਗੁਪ੍ਰਸੂ) ੨. ਬੰਦੂਕ਼. ਆਦਿ ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਰ ਨਾਲ ਜੀਵ ਨੂੰ ਇਸੇ ਤਰਾਂ ਮਾਰਨਾ ਕਿ ਉਹ ਤੁਰਤ ਮਰ ਜਾਵੇ./For jhatka, a Sikh while delivering the blow may utter Sat Sri Akal (True is the Timeless Lord), which is both a Sikh war slogan and a salutation, but there is no idea of sacrifice or ritual involved in such utterance, and it is not mandatory either.Sikhism does not sanction sacrificial or ritual killing.
Jhatka meat prevents antihistamine effects on your body making it a healthy choice and is hygienic as the swiftness/Jhatka lessens the time span of processing meat making it less vulnerable to external and environmental contamination thereby minimizing infection probability which is injurious to health.
On religious Sikh festivals, including Hola Mohalla and Vaisakhi, at the Gurdwara of Hazur Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib and many other Sikh Gurdwaras, jhatka meat is offered as "mahaprasad" to all visitors in a Gurdwara. This is regarded as food blessed by the Guru and should not be refused.
To enjoy meat, you don't have to torture! In jhatka, Animal or bird is slaughtered swiftly in a Single stroke directly disconnecting communication between the brain and body, minimising agony and trauma as this is Free Of Ritual Torture (FORT) and does not let the animal release any pain, stress or fear hormones AKA cortisol, dopamine and norepinephrine. Let's be compassionate and save them from shock, pain and agony.
Can Sikhs eat Beef?
The short answer is no. For example, the Sakhi Rehit Ki (dated approx 1720s) says: "A Sikh must never smoke tobacco or use it as a snuff. Using tobacco is as henious a sin, as eating beef"
It must also be noted, that slaughter of cows was never allowed in the Khalsa Raaj, this act was met with severe punishment.
Now,the more practical side. Cows are domestic animals, so all the beef sold over the world is kut'ha maas.
The solution for those who want to eat red meat is EAT DEER. Deer is 100% wild organic and 100 times healthier to eat than vaccine/steroid injected and junk fed domestic cows. Deer meat is super lean and the protein and iron much richer/beneficial.
In Domestic Animals only males are Jhatka'd.
Can Sikhs eat Fish?
Yes, but only Pole Caught Fish. Because it is a Form of Shikaar and Shikaar is Allowed.
- ^ "The most special occasion of the Chhauni is the festival of Diwali which is celebrated for ten days. This is the only Sikh shrine at Amritsar where Maha Prasad (meat) is served on special occasions in Langar", The Sikh review, Volume 35, Issue 409 - Volume 36, Issue 420, Sikh Cultural Centre, 1988