Between the two, namely, Release from bondage, and Realisation of the Atman, -- between these two, there is nothing that is before or after. Both are simultaneous.
In total darkness we light a match. And there is light. Darkness is gone.
Does light come first and then after some time does the darkness disappear? Are they not both simultaneous?
But note one thing. It is not that darkness goes and light comes at the same time! Light comes and at the same time darkness is gone!
This is where Vedanta is great. Its goal is to find the Light of the Self.
Keeping this as the central focus, it starts from nitya-anitya-vastu-viveka (discrimination between permanence and impermanence) and ascends gradually from one step to another.
Their objective was not the removal of misery (as was that of the Buddha), nor was it the stoppage of mind-flow that causes all misery (as was that of Patanjali); the Rishis of the Upanishads, the author of the Brahma-sUtra and the Acharya all emphasized the Realisation of Brahman as ‘the Goal’.
They prompted us to search for the Truth and go after it. Theirs was a “satya-anveshhaNaM”.