Brahman realization is the beginning of liberation, and Paramātmā realization is still further advancement toward the realm of liberation, but one achieves real liberation when he understands his position as an eternal servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (muktir hitvānyathā rūpaṁ svarūpeṇa vyavasthitiḥ). In the material world, in the bodily concept of life, everyone is working in the wrong direction. When one becomes brahma-bhūta, spiritually realized, one understands that he is not the body and that working in the bodily concept of life is useless and misdirected. Then his devotional service begins. As Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (18.54):
na śocati na kāṅkṣati
samaḥ sarveṣu bhūteṣu
mad-bhaktiṁ labhate parām
“One who is thus transcendentally situated realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.” Devotional service is actual liberation. When one is attracted by the beauty of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and his mind is always engaged at the Lord’s lotus feet, he is no longer interested in subjects that do not help him in self-realization. In other words, he loses all attraction for material activities. In the Taittirīya Upaniṣad (2.7) it is said: eṣa hy evānandayati; yadā hy evaiṣa etasmin na dṛśye ’nātmye anirukte ’nilayane ’bhayaṁ pratiṣṭhāṁ vindate ’tha so ’bhayaṁ gato bhavati. A living entity becomes established in spiritual, blissful life when he fully understands that his happiness depends on spiritual self-realization, which is the basic principle of ānanda (bliss), and when he is eternally situated in the service of the Lord, who has no other lord above Him.