They have to renounce pleasure because they have known that if you welcome pleasure, just behind the pleasure there is pain. It is almost like on a door: on one side is written “push,” on the other side is written “pull.” It is the same door. Of course, if on one side it says “push,” then on the other side it has to say “pull.” It is the same phenomenon: on one side it is pleasure – pull – and you want to pull it as much as possible; on the other side is pain, and you want to push it as far away as possible.
But once you have chosen pleasure – and of course nobody chooses pain, except a few masochists. But even a masochist, by choosing pain, has to choose pleasure. A masochist is one who tortures himself and enjoys it: he has chosen pain. He is torturing himself, I but you can see in his eyes he is enjoying it. You cant not divide the two – they are not two, just two sides of the same energy.
In the same way happiness is joined with unhappiness. Everybody wants to be happy, and you will find everybody unhappy. The more you want happiness, the more you are inviting unhappiness.
The American constitution has a very stupid idea in it. It says that the pursuit of happiness is man’s birthright. The people who were writing this constitution had no idea what they were writing. If the pursuit of happiness is the birthright of mankind, then what about unhappiness? Whose birthright is unhappiness? These people were not at all aware that if you ask for happiness, you have asked for unhappiness at the same time; whether you know it or not does not matter.
If a certain painting makes you happy, the meeting of a friend makes you happy, a certain song makes you feel happy…. But how long can you remain with the friend? In the meeting there is the departure; in life there is death. How long can you be happy with a song? Soon you will start getting bored by it, you will become fed up with it.
You can see it happening in every synagogue, in every church, in every temple, in every mosque: people are almost asleep. A few old fellows are even snoring, because they have heard the sermon so many times; just the very repetition of it brings boredom, and boredom brings sleep. This is a psychological mechanism. That’s why all the methods that are suggested to people who are suffering from sleeplessness are really nothing but methods to get bored.
They are told, “Count from one to a hundred, and then count backwards: one hundred, ninety-nine, ninety-eight, ninety-seven; count backwards; then from one to a hundred, and then count back again.” Naturally you will get bored within five minutes. And a few con people have sold this method as if they are giving you something of religious value – for example, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. What he calls transcendental meditation is nothing but transcendental boredom.
If you repeat any name continually for ten or twenty minutes you are bound to fall asleep. Of course it is a little different from your ordinary sleep: it is hypnos. Hypnos is deliberate sleep, not natural but created by a certain strategy, a certain mechanism – repeating Ave Maria, Ave Maria, Ave Maria, and fast. You have to repeat it fast so there is no gap between two Ave Marias; otherwise, some thought may enter and disturb your whole procedure, so you have to go really fast.