Gita 4.36


api ced asi papebhyah

sarvebhyah papa-krttamah

sarvam jnana-plavenaiva

vrjinam santarisyasi



Even if you are the most sinful of all sinners, you shall undoubtedly, cross all sins by the boat of knowledge (wisdom), alone.


Lord Krishna completes the discourse on jnana by extolling the glory of it. To emphasise the power of spiritual knowledge He specifically states in this verse that even the most incorrigible sinner is redeemed if changing their ways acquires and applies spiritual knowledge in their consciousness.

Generally sinners are not engaged in spiritual practice, but it does not mean that they cannot be engaged in it. If by coming into contact, with a great soul or by being influenced by an incident or circumstance or environment etc., they resolve, that they have to gain knowledge of the self, or God, they cross the ocean of sins, by the boat of knowledge, of the self.


Gita 4.37


yathaidhamsi samiddho ‘gnir

bhasmasat kurute ‘rjuna

jnanagnih sarva-karmani

bhasmasat kurute tatha



As blazing fires burn firewood to ashes, O Arjuna, so does the fire of knowledge, reduce all actions to ashes.


One might wonder that just as crossing the ocean by boat does not destroy the ocean how is it that the boat of spiritual knowledge can destroy all one’s sins. Lord Krishna states here that the boat of spiritual knowledge will destroy all reactions to actions both those leading to merit and those leading to demerit.

As blazing fire reduces fuel to ashes, so does the fire of knowledge, reduce the three kinds of actions (i.e.,)-prarabdha (in the form of fate), sancita (accumulated actions) and Kriyamana (the present actions), to ashes. It means that when a man gains knowledge of the self, his affinity for the actions or the world is totally renounced. Consequently, the world loses its independent existence and there remains, only God.


Gita 4.38

na hi jnanena sadrsam

pavitram iha vidyate

tat svayam yoga-samsiddhah

kalenatmani vindati



In this world, there is nothing as sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism. And one who has achieved this enjoys the self within himself in due course of time.


In this world nothing is as purifying as spiritual knowledge. Then why is not everyone pursuing this? Lord Krishna explains that first one must become qualified from prolonged practice of karma yoga or prescribed Vedic activities performed without desire for rewards. Then in due course of time, if there is no interruption, knowledge will arise leading to purity of heart after which soul realisation will be achieved.

This knowledge of the self cannot be gained by the senses, mind, intellect and other means (instruments). One will find the knowledge of the self, in himself. The means such as, listening to Vedanta texts, cognition and constant and deep meditations etc., may help in removing the obstacles such as notion of impossibility of gaining knowledge and contrary sentiments etc., but they cannot induce a man, to – gain the knowledge of self. He can gain that knowledge, by renouncing his affinity for the insentient. As the world can be seen with an eye but an eye cannot be seen by itself, but it can be said, that the organ with which any object is seen is the eye. So it can be said, that He who is the Knower of all persons and objects etc., and by Whom all objects etc., are known, is the self or God, Who is not known by any means.


Gita 4.39


sraddhaval labhate jnanam

tat-parah samyatendriyah

jnanam labdhva param santim





He who has faith and is devoted and who controls his senses, gains knowledge (wisdom) and having gained knowledge he achieves the Supreme peace in no time.


A person may acquire knowledge by themselves but here are presented all the qualities that are essential for such a person to succeed. The word sraddhavan means a person who has faith. Faith means firmly believing. The person with faith who follows the Vedic instructions of the spiritual master and who wholeheartedly believes in the knowledge of the Vedic scriptures and who is self-controlled; only such a person receives spiritual realisation and none other. Therefore before one receives spiritual knowledge through the auspices of faith one has to undergo the path of karma yoga or performance of prescribed Vedic activities for one’s purification. After spiritual realisation is attained then one has become liberated and has no need to perform any action.

In Karma yoga and Jnana yoga there is predominance of discrimination and in Bhakti yoga there is predominance of belief-faith. At first the Self-realization is attainable-this faith a seeker must have, then only he will strive for it.


Gita 4.31


nayam loko ‘sty ayajnasya

kuto ‘nyah kuru-sattama


Even this world is not for those who do no sacrifice. How could there be other world for them?


That person who does not perform yagna or offerings of worship to propitiate the Supreme Lord and who does not perform the regular and occasional duties as prescribed in the Vedic scriptures according to varnasrama or their rank and station in life, such a person derives absolutely no benefit for receiving a human existence in this world. They have wasted a very precious opportunity as human birth is very difficult to receive and humans are the only species on the Earth with freewill and the power to reflect on the Supreme. Moksha is the true goal of all human endeavours and real purpose of human existence. The divine discourse of the Bhagavad-Gita is all about moksha which is the greatest good eternally for all humanity.

A man (the self), is eternal. It is because of his attachment to the perishable, that he believes that he dies. When he, having utilized his so-called possessions, for the welfare of the world, gets detached from them, he realizes the fact, that he is eternal. When action is performed as duty i.e., for the welfare of others without any selfish motive, it becomes a sacrifice (yajna). A selfish member, who does not perform his duty, is not liked even by members of one’s family. Non-performance of duty causes quarrels, strife and annoyance in the family. He, who wants to lead a peaceful life in the family, should perform his duty by rendering service to other members of the family. By doing so, he becomes a source of inspiration for others and thus unity and peace prevail, in the family and in the world, here as well as hereafter. On the other hand, he who does not perform his duty scrupulously does not lead a happy life, here as well as hereafter.


Gita 4.32

evam bahu-vidha yajna

vitata brahmano mukhe

karma-jan viddhi tan sarvan

evam jnatva vimoksyase



All these different types of sacrifice are approved by the Vedas, and all of them are born of different types of work. Knowing them as such, you will become liberated.


Lord Krishna has described the 12 different performances of yagna or offerings of worship in propitiation to the Supreme Lord that are the means of attaining soul realisation. It should be clearly understood that all yagnas manifest from activity of the mind, the speech or the body and involve the performance of regular daily duties and occasional special duties. Understanding this wisdom and practically applying this knowledge one shall by their own efforts dissolve all their sins and become free from bondage of the cycle of birth and death.

Arjuna wants to attain salvation, but he wants to renounce his duty of fighting, by regarding it, as a sin. Therefore, the Lord by using the expression ‘Karmajanviddhi’, explains to him, that whatever spiritual practice he will do by renouncing war, will also be, the performance of action. The Lord declares that it is not action, but total renunciation of affinity for actions, which leads to salvation. Therefore, he should perform his duty of fighting, remaining detached from actions, in order to attain salvation, because it is not actions but it is attachment to them, which binds him.


Gita 4.33


sreyan dravya-mayad yajnaj

jnana-yajnah parantapa

sarvam karmakhilam partha

jnane parisamapyate



Knowledge, as a sacrifice (yajna) is superior to any material sacrifice, O Arjuna. All actions and objects in their entirety culminate in knowledge (jnana).


Karma or actions has two aspects. The action of using the paraphernalia and ingredients to perform is one aspect and the spiritual intelligence to perform it properly is the second aspect. The second aspect of spiritual knowledge is superior to the first aspect consisting of material ingredients. All activities culminate in wisdom. Any action performed without directed intelligence is meaningless.

The mind is tainted by three kinds of defects – sins, volatility of mind, and ignorance. When a seeker performs actions, for the welfare of others without any selfish motive, his first two defects i.e., sins and volatility of mind, come to an end. In order to get rid of the third defect, having renounced actions, he goes to his teacher, so that he may impart knowledge. At that time, he does not aim at actions and material objects, but his aim is God-realization. This is known, as culmination of all actions and material objects, in knowledge i.e., God-realization through the attainment of true knowledge.

In the scriptures, there are eight inward spiritual means to attain knowledge. These are (1) Discrimination. (2) Dispassion. (3) Six traits (Quietness, self-control, piety, indifference, endurance and composure). (4) Desire to attain salvation. (5) Listening to

Vedanta texts. (6) Cognition. (7) Constant and deep meditation. (8) Self-realization.

Discrimination (viveka), consists in distinguishing, the real from the unreal. Renunciation of the unreal or having disinclination for the world is called dispassion (vairagya), Deviation of the mind from the sense object is quietness (sama), Control over the senses is ‘dama’. Reverence for God and the scriptures is called ‘piety’ (Sraddha). Total resignation from the world, is ‘Uparati’. Forbearance in the pairs of opposites such as heat and cold is endurance (Titiksa), Freedom from doubt is composure (Samadhana). The desire for salvation, is called ‘Mumuksuta, When desire for salvation, is aroused, a seeker having renounced material objects and actions, goes to a learned God realized teacher. He hears the Vedanta texts, which remove his doubts, which is known as hearing (sravana). Then, he thinks of the reality, about God which is known cognition (Manana). If he holds that the world is real and God does not exist- this is an opposite conception. Removal of this contrary conception is called constant and profound meditation (Nididhyasana). When having renounced affinity for all material objects, one gets established in the self, it is called self-realization (tattvam padartha samsodhana).”

In fact, all these spiritual disciplines are practised, in order to renounce the affinity for the unreal. That which is renounced, is not for one’s own self, but the result of renunciation (God realization), is for one’s own self.


Gita 4.34


tad viddhi pranipatena

pariprasnena sevaya

upadeksyanti te jnanam

jnaninas tattva-darsinah



Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.


Lord Krishna is revealing how to attain spiritual knowledge. The seeker should go to a teacher, with profound humility and perfect devotion, and through prostration surrender himself, his body mind and possessions etc., to him. The student must have an intellectual attitude of surrender and meekness, respect and obedience towards the Teacher. He should keep his inquisitiveness always, awake. The seeker must ask the teacher with a pure heart about the purpose of life, the true nature of a living being and how to revive one’s relationship with the Supreme Being? By these questions and by being pleased by one’s sincere service such a self-realised being will guide and instruct one on matters related to the ultimate truth. The Guru will remove all doubts about: Who am I? Why was I born? What is my purpose in life?


Gita 4.35


yaj jnatva na punar moham

evam yasyasi pandava

yena bhutany asesani

draksyasy atmany atho mayi



Knowing which, Arjuna, you will never lapse back into delusion again and by that knowledge you will see all beings without exception in yourself and also in Me.


Lord Krishna is clarifying to Arjuna that by this spiritual knowledge he will no longer be deluded by the illusion of relatives, friends and preceptors dying and if they are dead he would not even want to continue living; because with spiritual knowledge he will realise his soul and the soul in all beings is identical and part of the param atma.

A seeker, having gained knowledge of the self, by hearing, cognition constant and deep meditation etc., or from the Guru, sees all beings in the self-this is the realization of ‘Tvam’ (self-realization). Then he sees all beings and the self in God-this is realization of ‘Tat’ (God-realization). Thus, he realizes the identity of the self with God, and, then nothing remains for him, except God.

Gita 4.26


srotradinindriyany anye

samyamagnisu juhvati

sabdadin visayan anya

indriyagnisu juhvati



Some of them sacrifice the hearing process and the senses in the fire of the controlled mind, and others sacrifice the objects of the senses, such as sound, in the fire of sacrifice.


Sound, sight, touch, taste and smell, are the five sensual objects. The discipline in which these objects of sense, are offered in the fire of sense, becomes a sacrifice. It means that even when the objects of senses come in contact with senses, the senses remain free from attraction and repulsion, or attachment and aversion.

The four divisions of human life, namely the brahmachari, the grahasta, the vanaprastha, and the sanyasi, are all meant to help men become perfect yogis or transcendentalists. Since human life is not meant for our enjoying sense gratification like the animals, the four orders of human life are so arranged that one may become perfect in spiritual life. The brahmachari, or students under the care of a bona fide spiritual master, control the mind by abstaining from sense gratification. They are referred to in this verse as sacrificing the hearing process and the senses in the fire of the controlled mind. A brahmachari hears only words concerning God; hearing is the basic principle for understanding, and therefore the pure brahmachari engages fully in chanting and hearing the glories of the Lord. He restrains himself from the vibrations of material sounds. Similarly, the householders, who have some license for sense gratification, perform such acts with great restraint. Sex life, intoxication and meat eating are general tendencies of human society, but a regulated householder does not indulge in unrestricted sex life and other sense gratification.


Gita 4.27



prana-karmani capare


juhvati jnana-dipite




Those who are interested in self-realization, in terms of mind and sense control, offer the functions of all the senses, as well as the vital force [breath], as oblations into the fire of the controlled mind.


The yoga system conceived by Patanjali is referred to herein. In the Yoga-sutra of Patanjali, the soul is called ‘pratyag-atma’ and ‘parag-atma’. As long as the soul is attached to sense enjoyment, it is called ‘parag-atma’. The soul is subjected to the functions of ten kinds of air at work within the body, and this is perceived through the breathing system. The Patanjali system of yoga instructs one on how to control the functions of the body’s air in a technical manner so that ultimately all the functions of the air within become favourable for purifying the soul of material attachment. According to this yoga system, ‘pratyag-atma’ is the ultimate goal. This ‘pratyag-atma’ is a withdrawal from activities in matter. The senses interact with the sense objects, like the ear for hearing, eyes for seeing, nose for smelling, tongue for tasting, hand for touching, and all of them are thus engaged in activities outside the self. They are called the functions of the ‘prana-vayu’. The ‘apana-vayu’ goes downwards, ‘vyana-vayu’ acts to shrink and expand, ‘samana-vayu’ adjusts equilibrium, ‘udana-vayu’ goes upwards–and when one is enlightened, one engages all these in searching for self-realization.


Gita 4.28


dravya-yajnas tapo-yajna

yoga-yajnas tathapare

svadhyaya-jnana-yajnas ca

yatayah samsita-vratah



Others again, offer as sacrifice (yajna) their wealth or their austerities or their Yoga, while others with self-restraint and rigid vows, offer study of the scriptures and knowledge, as sacrifice.


These sacrifices may be fitted into various divisions. Some utilize their wealth and material possessions, for the welfare of others, without any selfish motive, by regarding these as of others only. There are persons who are sacrificing their possessions in the form of various kinds of charities and are called dravyamaya-yajna.  Observing fast and keeping mum, etc., are also austerities, as sacrifice. Sacrifice of the comforts of life is called tapomaya-yajna. Those who engage themselves in the studies of different Vedic literatures, specifically the Upanisads and Vedanta-sutras, or the Sankhya philosophy are called svadhyaya-yajna, or engagement in the sacrifice of studies.

Non-violence, truth, non-stealing, celibacy and to refrain from hoarding-these five are yama, the five great vows. These five vows have been very much eulogized, in the scriptures.


Gita 4.29


apane juhvati pranam

prane ‘panam tathapare

pranapana-gati ruddhva


apare niyataharah

pranan pranesu juhvati



And there are even others who are inclined to the process of breath restraint to remain in trance, and they practice stopping the movement of the outgoing breath into the incoming, and incoming breath into the outgoing, and thus at last remain in trance, stopping all breathing. Some of them, curtailing the eating process, offer the outgoing breath into itself, as a sacrifice.


This system of yoga for controlling the breathing process is called pranayama. They are recommended for controlling the senses and for advancement in spiritual realization. This practice involves controlling the air within the body to enable simultaneous passage in opposite directions. The apana air goes downward, and the prana air goes up. The pranayama-yogi practices breathing the opposite way until the currents are neutralized into puraka, equilibrium. Similarly, when the exhaled breathing is offered to the inhaled breathing, it is called recaka. When both air currents are completely stopped, it is called kumbhaka-yoga. By practice of kumbhaka-yoga, the yogis increase the duration of life by many, many years.

“Prana” as we know is not only breath but various activities of life in a living body. They are

  1. Functions of perception.
  2. Functions of excretion
  3. Functions of digestion and assimilation
  4. Functions of the circulatory systems which distribute the food to all parts of the body.
  5. Functions of improving the mental and intellectual outlook.

Others practice decreasing their food intake until it becomes minimal using it to offer as a yajna the senses which become greatly weakened due to lack of food. They follow the Vedic injunctions that the stomach should be half filled with food, a quarter filled with water and a quarter filled with air. Others meditate on the mystic sound of Hamsah meaning that I am and I am that in reference to the Supreme, for every breath inhaled meditating on ham as that I am and as every breathe exhaled meditating on sah as I am that. It is a known fact that to the extent that the mind becomes steady through continuous practice to that extent so does the breath, speech, body and the gaze become steady.
Gita 4.30


sarve ‘py ete yajna-vido



yanti brahma sanatanam



All these performers who know the meaning of sacrifice become cleansed of sinful reaction, and, having tasted the nectar of the remnants of such sacrifice, they go to the supreme eternal atmosphere.


From the foregoing explanation of different types of sacrifice (namely sacrifice of one’s possessions, study of the Vedas or philosophical doctrines, and performance of the yoga system), it is found that the common aim of all is to control the senses. Sense gratification is the root cause of material existence; therefore, unless and until one is situated on a platform apart from sense gratification, there is no chance of being elevated to the eternal platform of full knowledge, full bliss and full life.

The main idea in these last two slokas is that even to practice pranayama with detachment towards the result and done as karma yoga with the sole intention of liberation, is yajna only. There is mention of twelve kinds of sacrifice from the twenty-fourth verse to the thirtieth verse and they are as follows.

(i) Brahmayajna -Realizing the doer, the action, the instrument and object etc., in every action as Brahma.

(ii) Bhagavadarpanarupa yajna – Assuming all actions and objects only God’s and only for Him.

(iii) Abhinnatarupa yajna -Having total disinclination for the unreal, merger in God viz., having no independent existence of one’s own apart from God. [Kartavya-karmarupa yajna-performance of all actions for the welfare of others.]

(iv) Samyamarupa yajna – In loneliness not to allow the senses to incline mentally towards the sensual objects.

(v) Visaya-havanarupa yajna -In day to day life to keep the senses free from attachment and aversion even when the senses come in contact with sense-objects.

(vi) Samadhirupa yajna – By restraining all the functions of the senses and breath to get established in trance kindled by knowledge.

(vii) Dravya yajna-Utilization of all materials for the service of others in a selfless spirit.

(viii) Tapoyajna-Facing difficulties happily while discharging one’s duty.

(ix) Yoga yajna-To remain equanimous in success and failure, in favourable and unfavourable circumstances.

(x) Svadhyayarupa jnana yajna – Study of the sacred scriptures and chanting the Lord’s holy names etc., for the good of others.

(xi) Pranayamarupa yajna-Control of breaths by ‘puraka’ (inhalation), ‘Kumbhaka’ (retention) and ‘recaka’ (exhalation).

(xii) Stambhavrtti (fourth) pranayama rupa yajna – By regulating the diet, suspension of the acts of inhalation and exhalation.

Gita 4.21


nirasir yata-cittatma


sariram kevalam karma

kurvan napnoti kilbisam



Having no desires, with his mind and body fully subdued, giving up all attachments and possessions, even though performing action necessary for the maintenance of the body, a Karma yogi, incurs no sin.


Here Lord Krishna uses the word ‘nirasir’ means bereft of expectancy or devoid of all desires for rewards. The words ‘yata-cittatma’ means to control the mind by the power of the atma or soul, keeping the mind tranquil and equipoised, free from agitation. The words ‘tyakta-sarva-parigrahah’ means abandoning all cravings for sense objects and sense pleasures. As long as one has life one should perform all actions as a matter of duty merely as a function of their body; in this way there are no reactions to actions and no disease is incurred. The disease is samsara or repetitive bondage of birth and death in the material existence.

If a Karma yogi is a recluse, he renounces all worldly possessions. But, if he is a householder, he does not accumulate any worldly object, to derive pleasure out of it. He, by regarding it as the worlds, uses it in rendering service to the world. It is inevitable for every seeker not to hanker after, mundane pleasure. The man of action, being free from hope or desire, is not attached to the performance or non-performance of action, so he incurs no sin, all his actions change into inactions. A Karma yogi, who is given to performing some action, does not indulge in indolence and heedlessness. His mind, senses and body, are under his control. Moreover, he is free from hope, desire and a sense of possession etc. So, forbidden actions cannot be performed by him, and thus he incurs no sin.

An action can leave a mark on the subtle body only when we act with ego-centric consciousness that we are the actors. And these marks can be effective only when our actions are motivated by powerful and strong ego-centric desires.

Gita 4.22



dvandvatito vimatsarah

samah siddhav asiddhau ca

krtvapi na nibadhyate



He who is satisfied with gain which comes of its own accord, who is free from duality and does not envy, who is steady both in success and failure, is never entangled, although performing actions.


One who is tranquil and content with whatever spontaneously comes to one on its own accord, to maintain one’s existence is the being who has gone beyond the dualities of material existence. This means that such a being patiently endures pleasure and pain, acceptance and rejection, sadness and happiness and the rest of the opposites which inevitably all mortals must face until one attains the goal of their endeavours which is atma tattva or soul realisation.

A Karma yogi is very cautious, lest he should be envious of any being, because all his actions are performed for the welfare of the world. If he is envious of anyone in the least, his undertakings cannot be for the welfare of the world. Envy is a subtle evil. Even friends, members of a family and businessmen, are seen getting envious of each other, because of each other’s good fortune. Where, there are antagonistic feelings, this evil is found in abundance. Therefore, a seeker should be on his guard against this evil. A Karma yogi transcends the pairs of opposites, such as profit and loss, honour and dishonour, praise and blame, pleasure and pain, and desirable and undesirable circumstances. So, he has a balanced state of mind, free from attachment and aversion etc.


Gita 4.23


gata-sangasya muktasya


yajnayacaratah karma

samagram praviliyate



All actions of a man, who is devoid of attachment, who is liberated, whose mind is established in knowledge of the self, who works for the sake of sacrifice (yajna), are destroyed.


When a man performs actions for the welfare of the world, without any selfish motive, he becomes free from attachment, for actions and objects. In the Discipline of Action, renunciation of a sense of mine is important, while in the Discipline of Knowledge, renunciation of ‘egoism’ is important. If a seeker renounces one of these, the other is automatically renounced. In the Discipline of Action, first there is renunciation of a sense of mine and then renunciation of egoism, naturally follows; while in the Discipline of Knowledge, the order is reversed.


Gita 4.24


brahmarpanam brahma havir

brahmagnau brahmana hutam

brahmaiva tena gantavyam




A person who is fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness is sure to attain the spiritual kingdom because of his full contribution to spiritual activities, in which the consummation is absolute and that which is offered is of the same spiritual nature. For him, the ladle with which yajna offering is made is Brahman, the fire and the act of offering oblation, is also Brahman. The oblation poured into the fire is also Brahman.


The actions performed by a person as offerings and worship to the Supreme Lord are considered inaction as they lead to spiritual intelligence and are not bonded in any way to reactions. For one who has achieved ‘atma tattva’ or soul realisation, all actions are neutralised by knowing that one is not the doer and hence for them even various natural actions are considered inaction. Now Lord Krishna is stating that the transformation of action to inaction is always present in the person who performs all their actions in relation to the Brahman or the spiritual substratum pervading all existence. One, whose mind is absorbed in performing all actions as offerings to the Brahman exclusively, attains the Brahman without a doubt.

When we view everything, as nothing other than God, we attain Him. Cultured people, recite this verse while having meals, so that this activity can be changed into a sacrifice (Yajna). When a seeker has his meal, he beholds God, in the following way:-

(i) The hand, with which the food is put into the mouth, is God.

(ii) The food is God.

(iii) He who eats the food is also God.

(iv) The fire, that abides in the stomach, and by which food is digested, is also God.

(v) The action of offering food, to the fire, which abides in the stomach, is also God.

(vi) The fruit of eating, the remnants, (residual food) of the sacrifice, is also God.


Gita 4.25

daivam evapare yajnam

yoginah paryupasate

brahmagnav apare yajnam





Some yogis perfectly worship the demigods by offering different sacrifices to them, and some of them offer sacrifices in the fire of the Supreme Brahman.



Karma yogis or those following the path of prescribed Vedic activities being on a lower platform devotedly worship the demigods such as Indra for rainfall and Surya for sunlight and derive the desired results sought. While the jnana yogis those following the path of cultivating knowledge offer all their oblations such as ghee or clarified butter and food grains exclusively into the fire as offerings to the Brahman or spiritual substratum pervading all existence and this is their yajna or worship to the Supreme.

Of the five kinds of yajna to be performed by a grahasta, man of the world, ‘brahmayajna’, the study of Vedas and acquiring the knowledge of Brahman, ‘devayajna’, the performance of worship like japa, homa and the other activities done to propitiate the divine, ‘pitryajna’ like sraddha and others done towards the pitrs, manes, ‘manushya’ yajna which are services of charity, hospitality and welfare of mankind and ‘bhuta’ yajna, kindness and service to living beings other than humans, deva yajna has been mentioned above.

A Yogi is one who is always trying, through all available means, to raise himself from the state of physical, mental and intellectual imperfections.