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In Yann Martel's novel, "Life of Pi", the author used his creativity and knowledge about religion to create the characters. He has shown how people would react if they were to be in the same situation as Pi. In order to survive, humans are willing stoop to low levels such as the abandonment of morality and religion. However, Pi Patel maintained his religious background and as seen at a later stage continued to practice the religions he had embraced namely Hinduism, Christianity and Islam-because he wanted to love God and/or Gods, and because he believes it is through his belief in religion that he made it through his journey.
First of all, Pi grew up as a Hindu. In the sentence, ""Nonsense!" cried the pandit."Piscine was born a Hindu, lives a Hindu and will die a Hindu!" (Martel 89) ,proves that Hinduism was Pi's first religion. There were days on the lifeboat, he wanted to fill his stomach to survive, so he tried fishing on the life boat. Luckily he had caught a large Dorado but before feasting on it, he says, "Thank you, Lord Vishnu, thank you! Once you saved the world by taking the form of a fish. Now you have saved me by taking the form of a fish. Thank you, thank you!" (Martel 247). Therefore, as a Hindu he had paid his gratitude to his God that had transformed into that Dorado and, allowing him to catch it, filled his stomach. In Hinduism, "Matsya, the gigantic golden fish, was taken by Vishnu at the last age where he saved humanity from a deluge that destroyed the world" (Hindu), so in this novel Pi believes that Lord Vishnu had transformed into that golden Dorado and saved him by providing food for him. Besides that, "VHYPERLINK "http://lotus-sculpture.stores.yahoo.net/vishnu.html"ishnu's second avatar was Kurma the tortoise that helped create the world by supporting it on his back" (Hindu), this means that the sea turtle Pi caught became not only his meal but also became his shield to train Richard Parker. This shows that no matter how hard life is and no matter what it throws at you, God will always be beside us and will protect us just like Lord Vishnu had protected and saved Pi and transformed into a large Dorado, allowing him to fill his stomach.
In the novel, Christianity was Pi's second religion. When he visited his friend in Canada, it was a snowy day, so he went back home feeling lonely but when the feeling of the presence of the Virgin Mary came over to him, he felt joyful. "When I say I saw her, I don't quite mean it literally, though she did have body and color. I felt I saw her, a vision beyond vision. She was smiling at me with loving kindness. After some seconds she left me. My heart beat with fear and joy. The presence of God is the finest of rewards" (Martel, 84), this shows that God is always beside when you when you are alone. When he was stranded on the life boat, Orange Juice climbed aboard from a floating bunch of bananas which reminded him about the lovely Virgin Mary as the illuminated Orange Juice with a glowing appearance, "She came floating on an island of bananas in a halo of light, as lovely as the Virgin Mary. The rising sun was behind her. Her flaming hair looked stunning" (Martel 146). When the ship, Tsimtsum, sank Pi was safely settled on a lifeboat. God saved him and was beside him when he was alone, and so he sent Richard Parker as a gift from God to become his companion and guardian, "From the lifeboat I saw something in the water. I cried, "Richard Parker, is that you? It's so hard to see. Oh, that this rain would stop! Richard Parker? Richard Parker? Yes, it is you!" (Martel, 127) God purposely saved Richard Parker and gave it energy to swim towards Pi's lifeboat. When he was about to get killed by the hyena, he prayed to his God. "The hyena fell silent. My heart stopped and then beat triple speed. I turned. "Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu!" (Martel 200). There was a sudden light emerging from the sky, "I saw a sight that will stay with me for the rest of my days. Richard Parker had risen and emerged." (Martel 200) It was Richard Parker protecting him by quickly killing the hyena before it got a chance to harm or to attack Pi. During his time spent on the lifeboat, a school of airborne flying fish flew over the life boat, "At that precise instant there was a vibration in the air and we were struck by a school of flying fish. They came like a swarm of locusts." (Martel 242) He quickly takes advantages of this happening and hid behind a turtle shell while Richard Parker swatted at them and ate them greedily. A Dorado pursuing the flying fish crashed into the lifeboat and became stunned. Before Pi had his meal, he prayed to Jesus to thank him for providing him with food so that he could survive on the boat "Thanks are to you, Jesus-Matsya" (Martel 298). The fish was fat and fleshy. It must have weighed a good forty pounds. Therefore, Christianity was not only talks about love, it is also talking about how God will help when you undergo troubles and difficulty like how Pi managed to survive throughout the 227 days in a lifeboat with a 450 pound Bengel Tiger. "I was giving up. I would have given up-if a voice hadn't made itself heard in my heart. The voice said, "I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen every day. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen."(Martel 196) tells that no matter how things will be going but Pi still pray to Jesus to ask for help. Truly, Pi's religious faith remained strong throughout his journey on the Pacific Ocean.
Pi became Muslim the year when he turned 15 years old. This happened when he met Mr. Kumar at which he was deeply touched by the devotion of the baker towards Allah. When he was in danger where the hyena almost killed him, he prayed to the great Nabi Muhammad. "The hyena fell silent. My heart stopped and then beat triple speed. I turned. "Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu!" (Martel 200). He believed that the great Nabi Muhammad aided him through the tiger, in order to save his life. Also, he tried to pray when he was on the lifeboat although he doesn't know the exact position and direction. God's fairness is portrayed equally, in order not to let Pi live alone, they sent Richard Parker to become his companion even though it was a 450 pounds Bengal tiger. It says "Jesus, Mary, Muhammad and Vishnu, how good to see you, Richard Parker! Don't give up, please. Come to the lifeboat" (Martel 127).When they stop upon the green island, the colour green is the color of Muslims "Green is a lovely colour. It is the colour of Islam. It is my favourite colour" (Martel 343). The meerkats on the island also signified something special to Muslims, the meerkats just like all the Muslims pray on the mosque "To see so many beings bending down at the same time reminded me of prayer time in a mosque" (Martel 357). Therefore, Islam brings peace to all of us and understanding about our God.
Pi survived through his belief in God over many experiences that could have brought death. He evaded death in numerous ways and on many occasions and this is because God was always beside him to create miracles throughout his journey. Religion not only brings peace and protection, but it also teaches us to do things positively in our life. All religions have the same theory and tell us to always do good stuff as long as we can love God. Through the experiences of Pi, the trust in God will help us in any circumstances as long as we believe in him.