That is the statement in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ sva-rūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ (SB 2.10.6). That is mukti. As soon as you give up your artificial way of life and you become situated in your original position, that is called mukti. That is . . . in other words, mukti means brahma-bhūtaḥ. That is also described in the Bhagavad-gītā, brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātma (BG 18.54). When one realizes Brahma, ahaṁ brahmāsmi, that is brahma-bhūtaḥ stage. At the present moment, we are jīva-bhūtaḥ. We are identifying ourself with matter—with this body, "I am Indian," "I am Hindu," "I am Christian," "I am brāhmin," "I am black," "I am white." These are all designations. This is not my real identity. My real identity is ahaṁ brahmāsmi, "I am spirit soul." So Bhagavad-gītā says that:
- brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā
- na śocati na kāṅkṣati
- samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
- mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
- (BG 18.54)
Without being brahma-bhūtaḥ, actual devotional life does not begin. It is not that by devotional service one . . . of course, you can take both way. But according to Bhagavad-gītā, it is to be understood that anyone who has taken to this devotional service, he is already in the stage of brahma-bhūtaḥ.
- māṁ ca 'vyabhicāreṇa
- bhakti-yogena ya sevate
- sa guṇān samatītyaitān
- brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
- (BG 14.26)
Mukti means to become transcendental to the three guṇas. Traiguṇya-viṣayā vedā nistraiguṇyo bhavārjuna. So bhāgavata-dharma is in the transcendental platform. It is not material. There are two kinds of dharmas: material and spiritual, because we are combination of matter and spirit at the present moment. So long I want to enjoy this material world or to satisfy my senses . . . this material body means combination of senses. Indriyāṇi parāṇy āhuḥ.
So the platform where we are concerned with the senses, that is called karma, karma platform. Just like people are working very hard day and night in the city. The purpose is to gratify the senses. Yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tuccham (SB 7.9.45). So that is karma. Then, indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ (BG 3.42). When you come to the activities of the mind—psychology, metaphysics, philosophical speculation—that is another stage—that is better than this stage, karmī.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu has approved that out of many thousands of karmīs, one jñānī is better. And out of many thousands of jñānīs, one mukta is better, liberated. One who has realized that "I am not this matter, I am Brahma," he is better. He is mukta. Mukta means one . . . brahma-bhūtaḥ, he understands. He no more identifies himself with these material activities. That is called brahma-bhūtaḥ. So Caitanya Mahāprabhu approves that out of many thousands of karmīs, one jñānī is better. And out of many thousands of jñānīs, one mukta is better. And out of many thousands of mukta, hardly you can find any bhakta.