Mankind has forgotten the ability to perform penance. When you let your vision roam in the temporary and transient world, your spiritual path spirals downward into inertia and stasis. When you concentrate your vision and your awareness on the permanent God, then you are practicing penance and your spiritual progress leaps ahead. If a door is locked and you want to open it, you must put the key inside the lock and turn it towards the right. Then it will open. But if you turn the key to the left, the lock remains closed. It is the same lock and the same key. The difference is in the way you turn the key. Your heart is that lock and your mind the key. If you turn your mind towards God, you get liberation. If you turn it towards the objective world, you remain in bondage. It is the same mind that is responsible for both liberation and bondage.
True renunciation is turning your mind towards God. It means constantly bringing your mind back from other thoughts to dwell on the
permanent entity. Such mental detachment and sacrifice must be developed into a very intense feeling. You should not keep on
postponing the practice to the next day, and then the day following that, and so on.
Suppose you expect to go to a marriage; you would keep certain clothes ready several days before the occasion. Or suppose you had a chance to go to the movies; then you will get ready very fast. Even for just going for a walk you make yourself ready in a trice. Well, if you cannot go to the cinema today you can easily postpone it to another day. If you do not go for a walk now you can always go another time. But the Lord’s journey cannot be postponed or canceled. You must always be ready to accept whatever comes your way. Time waits for no one. Time does not follow man. Man has to follow time. Time flows on continuously and takes everything with it.
The Gita teaches you that you may enjoy the various objects of the world, but while enjoying them you should not get yourself attached to them, thinking that you possess them. This feeling of renunciation or detachment is one of the most essential aspects of the spiritual
philosophy propounded in the Gita.