In Life of Pi, what 3 religions does Pi follow and why?

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pi is an interesting kid, because he finds much to be admired in many different religions, and decides to become members of three prominent ones.  This disturbs his parents, and the leaders of each individual church he attends, but Pi finds elements that are wonderful in each of them.

Pi joins the Christian faith, the Muslim faith, and the Hindu faith.  In each one, he likes different aspects of it.  In Christianity, it was Jesus Christ and His ultimate sacrifice that appealed to Pi.  It was illogical but touching, and that selflessness really moved him. He said that it was Jesus' "humanity that I found so compelling," and after thinking about Christ and his sacrifice of self for sins for three days, he was hooked.  That was the main appeal for Christianity--the love apparent in that act.  His attraction to the Muslim faith was centered in its "religion of brotherhood and devotion," to its calisthenics, its open-aired temples that was open "to God, to breeze," and how it felt good to pray so often.  Hinduism appealed to him because of its many sensory elements, and because of the element of Karma and a larger universe that is "aware" of all things.

Each of these religions held a special and very moving place in Pi's heart, and the bottom line was that the existence of God--in whatever form--was a great comfort and strength to him.  Martel insists that is one of the functions of religion--to tell a story that provides humans with strength and comfort, as they did for Pi.  I hope that helped; good luck!

thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pi practices Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. He is originally born into Hinduism and practices all its rites. He is drawn to Hinduism because of its philosophy of life:

That which sustains the universe beyond thought and language, and that which is at the core of us and struggles for expression, is the same thing.

Pi encounters Christianity after he walks into a church and meets Father Martin. Father Martin tells Pi about the story of Jesus Christ and how he died for the sins of man. Pi is drawn to Christianity because of the story of Christ and the love preached by the religion and becomes a Christian. 

Pi becomes a Muslim after he meets a Muslim baker. The baker and Pi engage in a conversation, but the baker excuses himself for prayers. His actions attract Pi's interest in the religion. He is drawn by the devotion demonstrated by the baker to his religion. Pi asks the baker about Islam and the baker tells him that Islam is the religion of the Beloved. 

Pi practices all the three religions simultaneously to the chagrin of its different leaders.

Ada Sison | Student

Pi first follows Hinduism as both his parents, although neither practice the religion, were born into it. The boy then discovers Christianity on a trip to the tea plantations and finds that he likes the Story of Christ. The third religion Pi subscribes to is Islam which he comes to as he explores his native Pondicherry. 

In each religion Pi finds comfort and hope in the story, the love, and the belief in God.