Religion In Yann Martel's Life Of Pi

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Religion is an important essence of Life of Pi from the beginning to the end. Young Pi has a blossoming interest in three ‘opposing’ religions – Hinduism, Christianity and Islam in the beginning of the novel. The priests and his family all fail to understand his ability or reason to believe in the three simultaneously. Pi explains the beauty of each religion and his desire to practice all of them when he says, “Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God,” (Martel 76). This quote shows Pi’s innocent wish of simply wanting to love God and not being forced to choose one religion to do so. The priests arguing over which religion Pi should follow demonstrate their possessiveness over their God and Pi reflects on this by…show more content…
I am reminded of a story of Lord Krishna when he was a cowherd. Every night he invites the milkmaids to dance with him in the forest. They come and they dance… -- the girls dance and dance and dance with their sweet lord, who has made himself so abundant as to be in the arms of each and every girl. But the moment the girls become possessive, the moment each one imagines that Krishna is her partner alone, he vanishes. So it is that we should not be jealous with God.” (Martel 54). This quote shows his openness towards God and religion which is what allows him to practice three different religions concurrently. In the quote he also mentions that when one starts showing ownership over the Almighty, their true devotion is no longer present. By Pi maintaining a balanced and healthy relation with himself and his devotion, he manages to uphold three different beliefs and values from different religious…show more content…
He continues his rituals and attempts to maintain his ethics to the best of his ability, “I practiced religious rituals that I adapted to the circumstances – solitary Masses without priests or consecrated Communion Hosts, darshans without murtis, and pujas with turtle meat for prasad, acts of devotion to Allah not knowing where Mecca was and getting my Arabic wrong. They brought me comfort, that is certain. But it was hard, oh, it was hard. Faith in God is an opening up, a letting go, a deep trust, a free act of love – but sometimes it was so hard to love. Sometimes my heart was sinking so fast with anger, desolation and weariness, I was afraid it would sink to the very bottom of the Pacific and I would not be able to lift I back up.” (Martel 231). However, in desperate situations Pi is obligated to eat meat in order for survival, although it does not agree with his religion. His repentance for committing his crime is shown when he says, “Lord, to think that I’m a strict vegetarian. To think that when I was a child, I always shuddered when I snapped open a banana because it sounded to me like the breaking of an animal’s neck. I descended to a level of savagery I never imagined possible” (Martel 218). This shows his ability to reflect on his actions, even once isolated from civilization. The importance of religion is especially shown with this

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