Pi has always been a firm believer in Hinduism. As the devoted believer he is, Pi has only been involved in that one specific religion as he says, “I owe to Hinduism the original landscape of my religious imagination, those towns and rivers, battlefields and forests… ” (Martel 50). He describes his feeling “at home” when in a Hindu temple, and enjoys the unique parts about this religion, whether it is sculptured cones of red kumkum powder or baskets of yellow turmeric nuggets (Martel 47).
When Pi learns his biology teacher, Mr. Kumar, is an atheist he is confused. Mr. Kumar states, “I don’t believe in religion. Religion is darkness,” which Pi does not comprehend and instead questions if he was testing him (Martel 47). Pi who has less knowledge of any other religion asides his will soon change that due to an experience. New experiences can alter a person’s memory of a past event significantly. Pi, the one boy that was once so devoted to one religion, starts respecting and seeking benefits of each. It is when Pi goes on vacation and he happens to stand on the left of the hill, where the Christian church is that his interests for other religions develop.
This one experience loosens up Pi and gives him a chance to explore other religions as well. However, during this experience he does not requestion or lose his original faith. Instead he seeks similarities and differences each one has to his. For example, Pi uses his friend’s mishearing to lay out one of his essential beliefs: Hindus, Muslims, and Christians are really all the same except for small differences in the practice of their faith. Hindus have a great capacity for love; Muslims see God in everything; and Christians are quite devout.
Furthermore, this new experience matures Pi. In one scene, Pi’s priest, imam and pandit accidentally meet on the street. Pi is a little embarrassed. But, in some ways, the three religious figures come out looking like the ridiculous ones. They all vie for Pi’s loyalty and insist he must choose one religion which Pi maturely replies as, “Bapu Gandhi said, ‘All religions are true. ‘ I just want to love God,” (Martel ). In conclusion, new experiences can alter ones outlook on certain things to a certain extent since Pi afterall remains the devoted Hindu he began with.