The discussion on Wednesday May 14
The term "ਗੁਰ ਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ"(Gur Prasad) remained at the center of our discussion with special focus on the term Guru, in particular Guru as Sabad.
In the process, questions raised by the Sangat were also addressed. The questions were:
1. Who was Guru Nanak's Guru?
2. Do I need a Guru even if I am leading a morally upright life?
Two distinct perspectives emerged: one emphasized that from a Sikh perspective, the need for a Guru is a given. It is axiomatic. No discussion on Sikhi can proceed without accepting this ground rule. The other view point suggested that perhaps we ought to expand the investigation to ask not just WHO is the Guru but WHAT is the Guru. When we ask, "WHO is the Guru?" there is, implicit in the question, the idea that the Guru is human.
Guru Nanak, in response this question, declared that his Guru was Sabad "ਸਬਦੁ ਗੁਰੂ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਧੁਨਿ ਚੇਲਾ"(Sabad Guru Surat Dhun Chela).
What, then, is the nature of this Sabad? This becomes the nature of our investigation.
In Gurbani, Guru is described as Sabad (the Creator), Bani (Speech/language)and Pawan (breath or life itself), suggesting that Guru operates at every level of our existence - and beyond.
If the Guru is Universal, then, it should, by logic, be available (accessible) to all, regardless of religion, nationality, color, creed etc.
Gurbani is also clear in stating that Guru is Gyan (Knowledge) and that no Gyan (knowledge) is possible without the Guru.
Can we look at the Guru as the "learning process?" A Sikh is a learner and is on a life long developmental process through apprenticeship to the Guru.