In Life of Pi, which three religions does Pi follow and why?

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In Life of Pi, the three religions that Pi follows are Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. He follows Hinduism because he loves and connects with its sensory experiences, Christianity because he is drawn to the love that is central to it and to Christ, and Islam because of its "brotherhood and devotion."

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Pi grows up as a Hindu and loves the trappings of the religion. His mother took him to a temple in Madurai. He says that the color, sound, and mystery of the temple stayed with him and made him appreciate religion; that feeling grew throughout his life. He says that he is a Hindu because of all the lovely things about the religion, like the bright colors, clanging of bells, and sounds of the drums. He loves and connects to these sensory experiences. He says that he feels at home in a Hindu temple and that the universe makes sense to him when explained in the way the Hindu religion explains it.

When Pi starts to explore Christianity, he can't figure out why God would allow Jesus to die. He asks the priest, who tells him that God did so because of love. That love was what it all came down to. Pi really appreciates this answer. It's the answer to most of the questions he has about Christianity. Jesus becomes a topic that he can't stop thinking about and then he decides that he wants to keep Him in his life.

Pi says that Islam is a beautiful religion of brotherhood and devotion. He says the spirit of it is something to love. He enjoys praying with Mr. Kumar and listening to him sing verses from the Qur'an in a slow chant. Pi likes the motions of the prayers and the way that he touches his forehead to the ground. He says it feels like deeply religious contact.

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Pi takes his own unique approach to religion by adopting the beliefs and practices of three different faiths: Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. Religion has fascinated him for as long as he can reminder. Pi sees no problem with being an adherent to all three faiths, as he feels that they all share common philosophies even if they differ in practice.

Hinduism is the first religion in Pi's life. He has always been drawn to the sensory experiences that this religion is full of. It is also the religion of his family. Pi is also drawn to Christianity because he likes the messages of love that Jesus promoted, in spite of elements he finds illogical. Interestingly, even though Pi asks to receive a Catholic baptism, he still thanks the Hindu deity Krishna for leading him to the Christian faith. Finally, Pi finds his way to Islam after meeting a Muslim mystic. While he finds some aspects of Islam to be too rigid for his liking, he does adopt some of its practices because he is drawn to its message of community and devotion.

Pi views all of these religions, perhaps even all religions, as part of a single divine reality. Therefore, for him, there are no contradictions inherent in following three different faiths. They all involve a love of the divine. Pi does not feel that there is a single "true" religion—therefore, he rationalizes, it is possible for someone to belong to multiple faiths. As he explains to his dubious father, having multiple religions is like having multiple passports.

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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.

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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!

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