Hṛdayānanda: What is the position of a person who takes to devotional service with the idea of liberation?
Prabhupāda: That is not pure bhakti. You can take devotional service with any idea. That will be fulfilled. But anyone who wants liberation by devotional service, he is not a pure devotee. That is called jñāna-miśra-bhakti, means bhakti adulterated with jñāna. Real bhakti, as I have explained, anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (Brs. 1.1.11), means no other desire than to serve Kṛṣṇa. That is pure bhakti. Jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam (CC Madhya 19.167), means the karmīs, they want promotion in the heavenly planets, and the jñānīs, they want to become one with the Supreme or liberation, so it should be uncovered by the result of jñāna and karma and fully devoid of any other desire. That is bhakti. So those who are bhaktas and desiring after liberation, they are not pure bhakta. Because why a devotee shall aspire after liberation? As soon as (he is) a bhakta, he is already liberated. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā,
- māṁ ca yo 'vyabhicāreṇa
- bhakti-yogena sevate
- sa guṇān samatītyaitān
- brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
- (BG 14.26)
"He, anyone, who is engaged in pure devotional service, he is transcendental to all these three qualities of the material world, and he is situated in the Brahman platform." Liberation means to be situated on the Brahman platform. So for a bhakta, the liberation is already there. Śrīla Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura has said, muktiḥ svayaṁ mukulitāñjali sevate asmān: "We are devotees, so mukti, liberation, is standing on my door with folded hands, 'What can I do for you?' " So why a pure bhakta should desire after liberation? For a pure bhakta, the liberation is standing on the door as maidservant. So a devotee is not aspiring for liberation.