In the Movie Life of Pi, Pi wanted to believe in three religions (Hinduism, Christianity and Islam). But he is not aware of Buddhism. As I guess, in the movie the Buddhism is represented by the Buddhist Sailor (Zebra).

What does that mean? Why Buddhism is kept away from Pi's knowledge (even though Buddhism originated in India)?

3 Answers 3


Not only Buddhism but there are many more religions left, too. Especially Sikhism which is far more famous religion. Even Jainism, as in India there are more followers of Jainism than Buddhism.

Fact is that India is too rich in religions, so it's harder to include them all in one single movie.

Another reason may be that the film was shot in Puducherry (Pi's House) where Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are the prevalent religions. Showing Buddhism in Puducherry is going to be unrealistic as in Puducherry, as I know, Buddhism is not that popular.(source)

  • 1
    Good point about Puducherry, since that's where Pi is raised and where he formed his opinions on religion. Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 19:14
  • 1
    Oh hey - thanks for making me google Puducherry when I thought it was Pondicherry and allowing me to discover its alternate name. Knowledge is good ;)
    – Nobby
    Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 13:19
  • @Nobby in India many cities have more then one name and puducherry/Pondicherry is one of them.
    – Ankit Sharma
    Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 17:02
  • 1
    @user6411 Now you can't say something like that
    – Janardan S
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 12:23
  • 1
    @user6411 That's not really accurate
    – Janardan S
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 12:24

If the movie about capturing every single religion in India, you can bet that it would be lengthier than four hours. We are too diverse to be in one movie. Either way, it wouldn't be too logical that Pi would get impressed by Buddhist traditions since we have a very minor proportion of Buddhists. I guess the writer was being a realist and his intention was never to show every religion in India.


I've read the book, though I haven't seen the movie. The book pretends to be based on a true story with a scene where the author goes to interview the grown up Pi. An amazing job is done with the characterization in the book, so much that it is my favorite part-more than any of the dramatic events. Because of this, I don't think that it's about representing all the religions in India, it's about Pi's personal beliefs. He's surely aware of Buddhism, just doesn't believe it.


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