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Life of Pi

Life of Pi

by Yann Martel

Religion Quotes

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Quote #10

I practised religious rituals that I adapted to the circumstances – solitary Masses without priests or consecrated Communion Hosts, darshans without murtis, and pujas with turtle meat for prasad, acts of devotion to Allah not knowing where Mecca was and getting my Arabic wrong. They brought me comfort, that is certain. But it was hard, oh, it was hard. Faith in God is an opening up, a letting go, a deep trust, a free act of love – but sometimes it was so hard to love. Sometimes my heart was sinking so fast with anger, desolation and weariness, I was afraid it would sink to the very bottom of the Pacific and I would not be able to lift it back up. (2.74.1)

Pi continues to practice his religious faiths at sea. (And isn't it perfect, given Pi's earlier assertions about religion, that he can't practice them according to the letter of the law? That he must adapt, trusting his intentions and good will?) It may seem like Pi's faith – at least in the first part of the novel – is blissful and untroubled. But don't forget the great test it undergoes on the ocean. During his suffering (see Themes: Suffering and Themes: Fear), Pi often comes close to losing hope. In this way, his faith is hard-won and hard-fought. It comes to have both an element of lightness and the weight of struggle.

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