Are there different charity degrees?
Undoubtedly, there is the degree that goes from that one who gives a few pennies to a blind man in the street or to settle their own guilt to the highest degree of charity, which is represented by the great masters, reformers and redeemers of humanity. These no longer have to be born or die, but remain in the plan of the world to help other beings to reach the same degree as them. The most classic example of this kind of charity is Jesus. He resigned the more vibration condition to come here, being chased, attacked, crucified and killed by humans, and he did everything because of his love to humanity. The charity of the master who comes into the world conveys a message and example. It is the highest form of charity known.
There is also the charity in our everyday life, living with our relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbors and strangers. What matters a person who does social work during the day if at night it fights and screams with its children? What matters give some alms to the destitute if it regards its employee? The charity also lies in the daily acts of human existence, as a single act, it brings few benefits. This type of charity is the most worthy and noble.
The highest ideal from the gift is represented by Bodhisatwa vote, that is, from the beings who renounce the glories of enlightenment to help those to get rid of the illusion.
Can you clarify more about these levels?
Yes, we can establish some order of charity, from higher to lower, only to illustrate educational purposes.
Material Charity: This is the most restricted form of charity, but it has beauty and value. Consist only by transferring something that we have to someone who needs. It can be food, drink, clothing, medicine, blanket, personal item, etc. Although this kind of charity is the simplest, it may be important in some situations, it may come before other charity form. For example, a person who is hungry can’t pay attention to a lecture that speaks about love and virtues, it needs to eat first. It also happens with a person who is with severe pains in the stomach, it won’t understand a conversation with some social worker, it needs to be treated by some doctor. But, if we give food to poor, the day next it will be hungry again, if we give medicine to someone in pain, it can returns the day next. When we give something with love, our charity is much more effective. In fact, the value depends more on the intention of the giver.
Emotional charity: The emotional charity is already on another level. Those who don’t have anything material to give to other may well engage in this kind of charity. It consists in give our time, attention, affection, raise spirits, inspire, etc. A person without material goods doesn’t need to stop doing good things, but better than give something, is give from us, take time and energy to host a human with its demands. Put ourselves in another’s place, feel what it feels, be good and compassionate, all this has a profound spiritual value. As we said, the more we do well, better returns to us, the more love pass, more love returns to us. Giving our love to others is one of the greatest gifts we can accomplish in life.
Transmute the karma of the other: The transmutation of the karma from others is an issue much unknown. It consists in the transmission of the mistakes from other, all errant actions that generate consequences that are about to manifest or have already expressed in someone. In this case, a person who loves the other so much can make the capture of karma and transfer it to itself, where it can neutralize or not. For example, one of a man’s daughters is very sick in the hospital. He fears that she dies in a short time, and if nothing is done, she is likely to cross the portals of death soon. Knowing this, he prays asking that the suffering of her daughter be transferred to him. Shortly after the daughter falls ill and he improves. This can also be considered a form of charity, since when we suffer in place of another. We see some spiritual masters doing this. For example, Father Pio of Pietrelcina made a prayer asking to suffer in place of the people. So the pains, diseases and suffers were absorbed by him and he felt what they felt. This way, one was freed of the karma. Sri Yukteswar, master from Paramahansa Yogananda, had a cancer that was the karma he was absorbing from his disciples. Masters do this to help their disciples to evolve more quickly, to not lose their time facing the karma. Swami Rama did the same to cure a boy with leprosy. Although, the masters can optimize the karma for them and transmutes it later, but an ordinary person can’t always to the same. When the Father prayed to Mother Teresa of Calcutta asking God to take him in her place, he died and she survived. Anyway, this is an act of renunciation and true charity.
These transmutations have its limitations: if the person doesn’t modify its beliefs, inclinations and behaviors that generate karma, a new karmic burden will be generated. That’s why spirituals masters prefer to do this with their disciples, because they are already practicing and learning spiritually, refining their character.
Transmit the teachings of spiritual liberation: Above the transmutation of karma is the teaching. As we said, if someone has its karma dispelled by love and compassion of a selfless soul, it can returns to commit the same mistakes, and the sacrifice will be in vain. But if someone means to transmit its release, it makes more and better. Likewise, a father who teaches his son to wash the dirty it is more profitable than always cleaning it. It is better teaching others to be spiritually independent than it always depends on teachers and scholars. Liberate itself by itself. The spiritual knowledge is one of the best ways to bring peace, justice and harmony to world. The practices of spiritual teachings help raise the human being. Knowledge is something that doesn’t end when passed to others. Instead, the more we transfer our knowledge, we increase our stock. The wise man doesn’t lose when teaches, it just wins. It is worth noting that we mention here the high transmission of knowledge, usually performed by advanced souls who are treading the Path. On the other hand, intentionally distort the spiritual teaching, diverting sincere seekers from their goal – as do the false prophets of today – is a very serious error and cause very heavy karma.
Redeeming or reforming souls: We see that redeeming or reforming souls, the masters who come to Earth, perform all types or levels of service, from first to last. But they prefer higher levels, because they are most effective for the regeneration of mankind. Anyway, when an avatar is born on Earth, it puts its hand to eternal joy and divine source of spiritual glory that it won, to save humans from mistake, death and suffering. Give up eternal bliss to be born in a world of chaos and illusions are undoubtedly the greatest form of charity, and the peak of love that someone can feel from others. Redeeming and reforming souls are very small in number, they come to Earth from time to time, but when they are here, they throw light in the world and create an aura of peace and development. As Buda said: “I am not searching any reward, even reborn in Paradise. I search the good of men, to bring those who have left the road, give light to those who live in darkness and error, to banish all the world’s pain and suffering”. The redeeming souls work in the last three levels mentioned here: karma transmutation, the training of disciples and teachings about the soul’s release. An example of karma transmutation is what Jesus did for the planet. Jesus, when he was on the cross, entered the planetary aura and made a real hygiene in its psychosphere, purifying a portion of the humanity karma. He pulled himself a part of human suffering and transformed. For this reason it is said that Jesus was “the lamb of God who took away the sins of the world” or who practiced the “remission of sins”. He is called by “the savior” of men. Not only Jesus, but other great souls who came to Earth also had the mission, by an act of love, to redeem mankind from its mistakes and suffering. When the transmutation is performed by an Avatar, a savior or reformer, it has a greater breadth and depth. If this kind of souls didn’t come to Earth, from time to time, it would be an imbalance in the aura of the world. These souls teach not only by words, but mostly by example of life. Each act, each happening, and each moment from their existence is a signal, a symbol of a large teaching. It is a personification of a natural law, a spiritual principle, a high quality of character, a moral lesson, etc. Any person can learn with their attitudes.
The Bodhisatwa Vow
Sentient beings are numberless; solemnly promise to release them.
The illusions are inexhaustible; solemnly promise to transcend them.
The teachings of Dharma have no boundaries; solemnly promise to dominate them.
The sunlit path of Buda is unparalleled; promise to embody it.
Towards the ultimate benefits of all beings, without exception, through this life and all my lives, I dedicate myself to the practice and the attainment of enlightenment until all reach this goal together.