What should a devotee target - Mukti or Moksha?

What should a devotee target - Mukti or Moksha?
Let me explain this with the support of the Scriptures!


A pure devotee never cares for liberation AND HE NEVER PRAYS FOR ANYTHING FROM KRISHNA. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu prayed to Krsna, "My dear son of Nanda, I do not want any material happiness in the shape of many followers, nor immense opulence in wealth, nor any beautiful wife, nor do I want cessation from material existence. I may take birth many times, one after another, but what I pray from You is that my devotion unto You may always remain unflinching."

The attention of a pure devotee is so much attracted to glorification of the Lord's pastimes, name, qualities, forms, etc., that the devotee does not care for mukti. Sri Bilvamangala Thakura has said, "If I am engaged in devotional service unto You, my dear Lord, then very easily can I perceive Your presence everywhere. And as far as liberation is concerned, I think liberation stands at my door with folded hands, waiting to serve me." To pure devotees, therefore, liberation and spiritual emancipation are not very important things.

In this connection, in the Third Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Chapter Twenty five, verse 36, Kapiladeva has advised His mother, Devahuti, as follows: "My dear mother, My pure devotees are charmed by seeing My different forms, the beauty of My face, the structure of My body so enchanting. My laughing, My pastimes and My glance appear to them so beautiful that their minds are always absorbed in thoughts of Me and their lives are dedicated fully unto Me. Although such people do not desire any kind of liberation or any kind of material happiness, still I give them a place among My associates in the supreme abode."

This evidence from Srimad-Bhagavatam gives assurance to the pure devotee of being elevated to association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Srila Rupa Gosvami remarks in this connection that one who is actually attracted by the beauty of the lotus feet of Sri Krsna or His service, and whose heart, by such attraction, is always full with transcendental bliss, will naturally never aspire after the liberation which is so valuable to the impersonalists.

A similar passage is also there in the Third Canto, Fourth Chapter, verse 15, of the same book, wherein Uddhava addresses Lord Krsna and says, "My dear Lord, for persons who are engaged in Your transcendental loving service there is nothing worth obtaining from religiousness, economic development, sense gratification or liberation--although happiness from these different sources can be very easily had by them. In spite of such facilities, my dear Lord, I do not aspire to achieve any such results. My only prayer is that I may have unflinching faith and devotion unto Your lotus feet."

A similar passage appears in the Third Canto, Twenty-fifth Chapter, verse 34, wherein Kapiladeva instructs His mother and says, "My dear mother, devotees whose hearts are always filled in the service of My lotus feet and who are prepared to do anything for My satisfaction, especially those fortunate devotees who assemble together to understand My qualities, pastimes and form and thus glorify Me congregationally and derive transcendental pleasure therefrom, never desire to become one with Me. And what to speak of becoming one with Me, if they are offered a post like Mine in My abode, or opulence like Mine, or even personal association with Me with similar bodily features, they refuse to accept, because they are satisfied simply by being engaged in My devotional service."

In Srimad-Bhagavatam, Fourth Canto, Ninth Chapter, verse 10, King Dhruva says, "My dear Lord, the transcendental pleasure derived by meditation upon Your lotus feet, which is enjoyed by the pure devotees, cannot be approached by the transcendental pleasure derived by the impersonalists through self-realization. So how can the fruitive workers, who at most can aspire to promotion to the higher heavenly planets, understand You, and how can they be described as enjoying a happiness similar to the devotees' happiness?"

Just Pray to Krishna for His service! This is the right prayer!