In Life of Pi, how does Pi's faith contribute to his survival?

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Since Pi practices faith in three major religions, he draws upon all of them to pull him through his suffering on the lifeboat. Not only does his commitment to three different religions show that Pi bears great love and faith within himself, it also proves to be the foundation from which he draws the strength and the desire to survive his ordeal. During times when Pi wants to give up hope, he prays or remembers a story from one of the religions he knows so well. He is strengthened to keep on fighting for his life. In chapter 60, Pi wakes up in the middle of the night and is overwhelmed with feelings of insignificance. He remembers a Hindu story of a character named Markandeya:

I felt like the sage Markandeya, who fell out of Vishnu's mouth while Vishnu was sleeping and so beheld the entire universe, everything that there is. Before the sage could die of fright, Vishnu awoke and took him back into his mouth (177).

Vishnu saves the sage in this story, and Pi awakes in the morning...

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