What are the Top 5 Spiritual Gifts?
Spiritual gifts, also called charism, charisms, or charismata in Greek are considered non-physical characteristics and abilities given by God, Spirit, or the Source energy of the universe. Most spiritual gifts are written about in Christianity, but there are other religions which also write about these Divine rewards.
The Top 5 to be the best (I believe) include:
- Peace (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual
- Intuition (unlimited access to Divine knowledge)
- Bliss (transcendence of all thought and emotion)
- Self-Realization (partial enlightenment)
- God-Realization (full enlightenment)
These top 5 are very similar to Buddhism’s and Hinduism’s (yoga’s) versions. I have experienced that the attainment of intuition leads to easier gain of other spiritual gifts because of the pure and unbridled access to one’s pure connection to the Divine through the soul. Let’s start by looking at the top 5 religions and their take on spiritual gifts.
Judaism is an obvious first because 5 books of the old testament – Judges, Exodus, I Chronicle, I Samuel, and Isaiah – are about Jewish history. Isaiah himself who was a Jew, proclaimed the “7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit,” (as used in Catholicism). [Isaiah 11:1-2]
- Wisdom, Understanding
- Counsel, Fortitude (strength)
- Knowledge, Fear of the Lord
[However, a 7th gift “piety,” isn’t included in the original verses from Isaiah, but I suspect is associated with the obedience the other 6 gifts. This is because piety represents “holiness” or devout religious observances.]
Also, Hinduism and yogic practice, talk about siddhis or paranormal powers earned through practicing meditation and the 8 limbs of yoga. There are 44 of them in total described by Patanjali and they are completely explained in my third ebook, in Chapter 17: A Siddhi Summary: Your Guide to Scientific Self-Realization: Part III: The Summit
Buddhism also speaks about spiritual gifts. The Buddha teaches us to renounce attachment to material possessions. Quoting the Buddha we see,
“Ye are my offspring, born from my mouth [are] spiritually born, created by the Law [are] spiritual heirs, [none are] material heirs.”
“There are these two kinds of gifts, O monks, namely material and spiritual distribution, and of these two, O monks, the higher is latter.”
Further on we see that one who follows the Law (Dhamma/Dharma), has faith in the law, and has faith in The Buddha (Christ in Buddhism, the foremost):
“… for those with faith in the foremost, the result with be foremost”
This “result” is the blessing of spiritual gifts or powers allowing the individual to perform acts of the Divine.
Which… results in:
- Merit that accrues because of faith: life, beauty, fame, reputation, happiness, and strength
- Peace of Detachment
Also, by fighting against the 8 pairs of mental impurities:
- Greed and Hate
- Anger and Grudge
- Scorn and Spite
- Envy and Stinginess
- Deceit and Fraud
- Obstinacy and Impetuosity
- Conceit and Arrogance
- Pride and Helplessness
AND succeeding past these mental obstacles, by the middle way (the noble eightfold path), one will achieve the spiritual gifts of:
- Vision (ambition)
- Knowledge (intelligence)
- Peace (stillness)
- Direct Knowledge (willful intuition)
- Awakening (partial kundalini activation)
- Nirvana (full kundalini activation, enlightenment, self-realization, and eventually God-realization)
In modern times, when someone says, “spiritual gifts,” the Christian Bible is often thought of and quoted from.
In Catholicism, there are 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit.
- Wisdom (sapientia)
- Understanding (intellectus)
- Counsel (consilium)
- Fortitude (fortitudo)
- Knowledge (scientia)
- Piety (pietas)
- Fear of the Lord (timor Domini)
In the Christian Bible, 25 are named!
- Administration (1 Cor. 12:28)
- Apostle (Eph. 4:11; 1 Cor. 12:28)
- Celibacy (1 Cor. 7:7,8)
- Discernment (1 Cor. 12:10)
- Evangelism (Eph. 4:11)
- Exhortation (Rom. 12:8)
- Faith (1 Cor. 12:8-10)
- Giving (Rom. 12:8)
- Healings (1 Cor. 12:9,28,30)
- Helps (1 Cor. 12:28)
- Hospitality (1 Pet. 4:9,10)
- Knowledge (1 Cor. 12:8)
- Leadership (Rom. 12:8)
- Martyrdom (1 Cor. 13:3)
- Mercy (Rom. 12:8)
- Miracles (1 Cor. 12:10,28)
- Missionary (Eph. 3:6-8)
- Pastor (Eph. 4:11)
- Prophecy (Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:10; Eph. 4:11)
- Service (Rom. 12:7)
- Teaching (Rom. 12:7; 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11)
- Tongues (1 Cor. 12:10; 14:27-28)
- Interpretations of Tongues (1 Cor. 12:10; 14:27, 28)
- Voluntary Poverty (1 Cor. 13:3)
- Wisdom (1 Cor. 12:8)
Honestly, many of the gifts of the Christian bible described can be commonly mastered, but only a few of them are rare gifts only achieved alone without the Divine bestowing it. These include:
- Celibacy – very few people on this planet are born without the base desire for sex. It can be suppressed, but never truly lost. A great yogic master named Sri Yukteswar, when asked by a disciple, “when does the sexual desire disappear,” Sri Yukteswar responds with, “When your dead.” This just goes to show that celibacy, when divinely given, requires no forced or practiced suppression.
- Healings – this refers to the ability to heal thoroughly and completely without the use of a substance or device
- Martyrdom – anyone can sacrifice themselves for a cause, but only a truly enlightened master or saint can sacrifice themselves and live!
- Miracles – this the general ability to create acts of God through healings, martyrdom, prophecy, and speaking/interpretation of tongues.
- Prophecy – to predict the past, present, or future with incredible accuracy and precision requires a gift at birth or during an awakening experience.
- Tongues – speaking in tongues, I think, is somewhat confusing because it is often betrayed as pentacostal people speaking gibberish. In reality, these gifts are seen at a very young age by children who can speak multiple languages at will and with no prior training or background.
- Interpretation of Tongues – this is just the interpretation of tongues, which goes along with the above spiritual gift. If you can speak the language, then you should be able to understand it. 😉
It is curious that Islam, being one of the 5 major world religions, AND being Abrahamic in origin, does NOT believe that any spiritual gifts can bestowed to human beings. Actually, the only miracle ever performed was by the Prophet Muhammad, when he brought forth the Islamic bible, the Quran. It is said in the Quran:
“Signs are only with Allah.” ~ Sura 6:109-110
The Muslims do believe that Jesus Christ may have been involved in healings and miracles, but ultimately Allah (God) was the real source of the power. This, I believe to be true, but I also believe that human beings, once unified in God (Allah, Yahweh, Jehovah, Source, whatever you call it) become God-realized and do achieve true power to enact God’s will. Some in Islam also believe that many miracles in the Old Testament are suspect along with anything performed by the Apostles or other followers of Jesus during the time of the New Testament. This is lamentable because there are MANY examples of saints from Hinduism (recent practitioners of yoga in the last 50 years), Christianity, and fakirs (religious ascetic) in Islam who have been recorded to perform miracles of all kinds. There is even a published book about a catholic woman from the 1950s named, Therese Neumann, who manifested the stigmata, developed the wounds of Christ, bleeding from multiple places on her body for days and years on end, only eating one Catholic wafer every Thursday! It is documented in the book with colored pictures and signed statements from other bishops and cardinals attempting to prove that her existence was falsified. I’m just sayin’… 🙂
Buddhism: M 3/1:12-16, Dhammadayada Sutta
Catholicism (7 Gifts): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_gifts_of_the_Holy_Spirit
Islam: http://apologetica.us/2007/04/11/comparing-islam-and-christianity-5-miracles-and-spiritual-gifts/ – this source is biased and slanted towards Christianity and does represent this author’s personal views, however it brings up some interesting points.