A certain Mohammedan was praying in a garden. They are very regular in their prayers. When the time comes, wherever they are they just begin, fall down on the ground and get up and fall down, and so on. One of them was in a garden when the call for prayer came, so he knelt there, prostrate on the ground to pray.
A girl was waiting in the garden for her lover, and saw him on the other side, and in her hurry to reach him did not see the man prostrate, and walked over him. He was a fanatical Mohammedan, just what you call here a Presbyterian, the same breed. Both believe in barbecuing eternally. So you can just imagine the anger of this Mohammedan when his body was walked over. He wanted to kill the girl.
The girl was a smart one, and she said "Stop that nonsense; you are a fool and a hypocrite".
"What! I am a hypocrite?"
"Yes, I am going to meet my earthly lover and I did not see you there, and you are going to meet your heavenly lover and should not know that a girl was passing over your body".
You are free. Nothing can give you freedom, if you have it not already. The Atman is self-illumined. Cause and effect do not reach there, and this disembodiedness is freedom. Beyond what was, or is, or is to be, is Brahman. As an effect, freedom would have no value; it would be a compound, and as such would contain the seeds of bondage. It is the one real factor. Not to be attained, but the real nature of the soul.
Work and worship, however, are necessary to take away the veil, to lift of the bondage and illusion. They do not give us freedom; but all the same, without effort on our own part we do not open our eyes and see what we are. Shankara says further that Advaita-Vedanta is the crowning glory of the Vedas; hut the lower Vedas are also necessary, because they teach work and worship, and through these many come to the Lord. Others may come without any help but Advaita. Work and worship lead to the same result as Advaita.