Religion In Life Of Pi Theology Religion Essay Example
Religion In Life Of Pi Theology Religion Essay Example

Religion In Life Of Pi Theology Religion Essay Example

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  • Pages: 7 (1771 words)
  • Published: October 11, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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If you doubt someone's credibility, question the information you are absorbing. Love is challenging to trust, as lovers can attest. Life is difficult to believe in, as scientists can verify. God poses a challenge to belief, as believers can confirm.

The text discusses the protagonist's occupation, which is hard to believe. The book "Life of Pi" narrates a tale about endurance, faith in God, and coming of age while the main character is adrift on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean. The novel heavily emphasizes the theme of belief in God and has caused controversy among critics. Throughout the story, Pi consistently expresses his trust in and affection for God. The narrative commences with an elderly man in Pondicherry who states that he possesses a story that will inspire faith in God. The main character explores various aspects of faith and spirituality from a young age a


nd successfully survives 227 days stranded at sea. Storytelling and spiritual beliefs are closely intertwined throughout the novel.

On a literal level, Pi follows three religions: Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. Each religion has its own stories and myths that are used as teaching tools and visual aids for their beliefs. This book explores the shared foundation of these religions and also explores the unique rituals and ceremonies associated with each one. Despite seeming unlikely, the protagonist strongly believes that miracles can occur even in our toughest moments.

The three faiths of Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity are essentially similar with minor differences in their religious practices. Hindus have a strong capacity for love, Muslims perceive God in everything, and Christians are deeply devoted to their faith. Pi appreciates the variety of stories tha

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each religion offers but also understands that these narratives may only represent different aspects of a larger narrative about love that transcends all religions, as explained by Father Martin regarding Christianity. Pi remains unbiased toward any specific belief in God and does not possessively cling to their individual doctrines despite believing in each faith. Pi shares a beautiful myth: Whenever the milkmaids attempt to possess Krishna, he mysteriously disappears.

Similarly, when each spiritual religion strives to assert sole control over God, genuine faith disappears. This story unveils some aspects of Pi's intricate spiritual convictions. You may have pondered how one could possibly embrace Hindu, Christian, and Muslim beliefs simultaneously. Pi's response is devoid of any trace of jealousy. Narratives and spiritual beliefs are also interconnected in Life of Pi as Pi proclaims that both necessitate faith from the listener or devotee.

Pi, despite his spiritual nature, admires atheists for their ability to believe in something without concrete evidence of God's absence. He holds contempt for doubters who claim it is impossible to know either way and refrain from making a definitive statement about God. Pi sees this as a lack of imagination. He compares these doubters to listeners who cannot appreciate the non-literal truth that a fictional story can provide. In Yann Martel's novel Life of Pi, the plot follows Pi Patel, a young boy who is the main character.

Pi, the son of a zookeeper in India, is drawn to faith despite his family's modern secularism. As a teenager, he embraces Hinduism, Catholicism, and Islam, finding something lacking in his spiritual life that each religion offers. This leads him to never feel compelled to choose one

belief system over the others. "Religion will save us," Pi declares, as religions have always held a special place in his heart from an early age.

Initially, he was introduced to Hinduism and considers it his birth religion and an integral part of himself. Instead of abandoning Hinduism when discovering other religions, he sees it as the foundation of his spirituality. When encountering Catholicism, he studies it out of curiosity rather than dissatisfaction with his understanding of Hinduism. Similarly, he later embraces Islam as another addition to his collection of spiritual beliefs for personal enjoyment. Although the young boy is content with his home and genuine belief in these three distinct religions, religious leaders are understandably unhappy upon learning about his broadened perspective on faith.

Pi's priest, pandit, and imam all confront Pi and his parents at the same time, leading to a conversation about his spiritual beliefs. They all agree that Pi cannot practice Hinduism, Catholicism, and Islam simultaneously. Despite their insistence, Pi remains firm in his desire to simply love and worship God. He states, "I merely want to love God," (Martel 69) and refuses to choose between religions. In addition, during his adolescence, Pi learns about atheism from his biology teacher, Mr. Kumar. Pi holds Mr. Kumar in high regard.

Kumar is referred to as Pi's favorite teacher, although Pi is not comfortable investigating the ideas of atheism or observing how science can be beautiful without a need for a god. Pi considers atheists as people who belong to a different religion, but he does not try to understand or explore this belief. In fact, the idea of atheism scares him. Pi, who tends

to ask many questions about other religions, remains silent when it comes to Mr. Kumar's beliefs.

Kumar expresses his skeptical views on religion by stating, "Religion? I don't have faith in it. It represents darkness." Pi, however, responds with confusion, stating, "Darkness? I find that puzzling. I always thought that faith represents light."

Was he testing me? Was he saying, "Religion is darkness," the way he sometimes said in class things like "Mammals lay eggs," to see if someone would correct him? ("Only platypuses, sir.") (1.7.9 - 11) and eventually explains: "It wasn't for fear of angering Mr. Kumar. I was more afraid that in a few words thrown out he might destroy something that I loved." Pi's education includes both science and religion; he grows to love both these subjects but agnosticism - the suspension of belief (e.g., "I don't have enough evidence to believe in God so I won't commit one way or the other.") - drives the boy crazy. For Pi, belief is one of the most beautiful actions of human life. To live otherwise is to live statically.

The choice between a rich, dynamic life and an inactive, uncommitted life is open to everyone. However, Pi's spiritual journey occurs before he ends up in a lifeboat with various animals. This journey forms the basis for the rest of the story, which aims to inspire belief in God through its fantastical and unbelievable tale. The second part of the book starts with Pi's shipwreck and his fight for survival afterwards. When Pi was 16 years old, his family decides to sell their zoo and move to Canada to avoid India's worsening political climate in the


They will receive a better monetary value for many of their animals in America, so the family and some of the animals of the menagerie begin their journey on a Japanese cargo ship named Tsimtsum. "Midway to Midway" the ship suddenly and quickly sinks for unknown reasons. When this unfortunate event occurs, Pi finds himself in a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a injured zebra, and an adult Bengal tiger. There are no other human survivors, and it is not long before the animals kill each other - the hyena kills the zebra and the orangutan and the tiger kills the hyena - leaving Pi and the tiger alone in the lifeboat. Similarly, it can be strongly affirmed that Pi Patel successfully overcomes numerous challenges ranging from his psychological and spiritual growth to his basic instincts and survival skills throughout his horrifying and extremely difficult experiences at sea.

The most significant fact is that his strong belief in God enables him to endure multiple obstacles encountered on the lifeboat. His exploration of three different faiths serves as a protective measure against the difficult and challenging circumstances of life. Though the journey is long and fraught with danger, solitude, and uncertainty, it primarily serves as an exploration of religion. This remarkable character remains steadfast in his religious convictions while on the lifeboat by performing his daily ritual prayers, which provide him with sustenance.

Despite facing various physical troubles such as salt-water furuncles, tiger attacks, cold, famishment, desiccation, dementia, and more, the protagonist continues to pray regularly. He relies on his prayers to survive his ordeal and remembers the wretchedness he felt when he was disconnected from God

for a long time. He states, "It was natural that, bereft and desperate as I was, in the throes of unremitting agony, I should turn to God" (Martel 315). Pi's consistent prayers help him endure and maintain some semblance of his former spiritual lifestyle before the sinking of the Tsimtsum. Additionally, he forms spiritual connections throughout his journey and draws comparisons between Orange Juice and the Virgin Mary.

"She arrived floating on a raft of bananas surrounded by a glow of light, as beautiful as the Virgin Mary" (Martel 111). Undoubtedly, Pi's faith remained strong throughout his journey at sea. Immediately, upon reaching the shores of Mexico and bidding farewell to the tiger as it disappears into the jungle, Pi is nursed back to health by locals. While Pi recuperates, two men from the company that owned the Japanese cargo ship visit him. They are desperate for answers about the ship's sinking, so Pi shares with them the incredible and astonishing story that was recounted in the book.

Clearly, the workforce does not believe Pi and becomes very worried, demanding to know what really happened. Their main concern is to find out the rational truth. After some discussion, Pi agrees to tell them another story, one that does not involve animals or any fictional elements. His second boring story includes a group of human survivors, among them being one who murders the others, including Pi's mother. He claims that in the end of the story, he kills the murderer and is left as the sole survivor. Neither story provides any explanation for why the ship may have sunk.

Pi asks the workforce about which of the two narratives

is superior before they leave, as both lack practical usefulness. The workforce, who heard the whole narrative from the start, agrees that the one with animals was superior. This is the book's main message and aims to persuade readers to believe in God. When faced with a choice between practicality and imagination, or science and faith, which narrative is best? Religious individuals may take comfort in believing in an uplifting story rather than less entertaining but more credible facts. However, this perspective is unlikely to convince atheists or make them believe in God.

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