“Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu!” – a Story of Religious Survival in “Life of Pi”

1052 WordsOct 21, 20085 Pages
“Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true.’ I just want to love God” (Martel 76; ch.23) says Pi in response to being rebuked for his practice of multiple religions. The notion that religion should not be discussed in polite company is demonstrated clearly by the scene Martel depicts in Chapter 23 of “life of Pi”, in which the pundits of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity come almost to blows over Pi’s enthusiastic practice of the three. It is this youthful fascination which equips him for the turbulent time yet to face him, and it is the Truth he discovers in the three religions, unaffected by adult-like notions of exclusivity which benefits him. From a psychological perspective, Carl Jung explained in his analytical theory that all…show more content…
It was his ability to hold on to his faith in a Greater Power that enabled him to survive his time at sea. Martel’s choice of name for his lead character; Pi, is most certainly intentional. As explained, “and so, in that Greek letter that looks like a shack with a corrugated tin roof, in that elusive, irrational number with which scientists try to understand the universe, I found refuge” (27). In choosing the name Pi, Martel enables the reader to find a connection with the character despite his cultural background and religious practices. The symbol Pi holds the same meaning in all languages when spoken in the mathematical vernacular, and suggests that this story, even with its fantastical elements can be shared by all. Are we not all floating on a sea of uncertainty, unaware of the next impending storm of obstacles, queasy with sea-sickness when the horizon of our future illudes us. Pi’s story is a metaphor for life, one in which we devise ways and means to cope with what is dished out when we are removed from the comforts of our ‘normal’ lives. Having faith in something greater than oneself, makes for a “better story”. Karen Armstrong explains that Mystical Religion, in which one discovers and nurtures their relationship with a personal God “is more immediate and tends to be more help in time of trouble than a predominantly cerebral faith” (212). It is in moments of spiritual serendipity, when one finds faith in the ‘happy accidents’ of

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