15 Amazing Life of Pi Quotes to Inspire You

Sometimes, a book can teach you important lessons. Life of Pi quotes you'll read here will inspire you and reveal crucial things, while making you wonder.

Rarely can we, the readers, come across a book such as ‘Life of Pi’, which makes us stop in our tracks and say ‘A-ha! I didn’t think about it that way.’ Truly, the author, Yann Martel, makes us think about the most important life issues, such as religion, freedom and truth, through the admirable story of Pi’s life.

The author’s constant questioning of faith in God, faith in nature’s complexities, faith in the will to live when faced with enormous loss, is to give us, the readers, a chance to ‘see higher, further or differently.’ Pi’s account of his survival, of the shipwreck, and his life at sea with the 450-pound Bengal tiger, or his second version of the same story, this time with humans instead, just testifies that there is never just one final version or perspective on a story.


Pi’s belief in and love of God is so strong that it transcends the classical divisions of religions, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam, so as to combine their elements together in his personal religion. His approach towards it and his respect for atheists and different points of view can teach us a lot about tolerance and coexistence, lessons we direly need in today’s society.

If you were just as amazed and inspired by this book as I was, you can find 15 amazing Life of Pi quotes here that are educative as well as inspiring!

The reason death sticks so closely to life isn’t biological necessity – it’s envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud…

Whenever I feel down, this is the quote I turn to, it simply warms my heart. When I think about it, life is really like a precious gem, glowing in the dark, attracting fireflies but also thieves. You have to keep safe the precious gift you were entrusted with. It may not always shine with its full light, darkness and gloom may surround it, but as Pi says “gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud.”

I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always … so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don’t, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.

Only fear can defeat life, remember that! Just think about all the times you didn’t do something just because you were afraid! Not asking that guy or girl out under the pretext that s/he is ‘out of your league,’ not doing what you love because you have to find a regular job, which will bring you stable income! Excuses, excuses and only excuses!

Every time you do not do something you want, ask yourself WHY? Be aware of what is holding you back from your greatness and success! Give a name to it, get to know it and then learn how to handle it! Do you think Pi was not afraid of the Bengal tiger, of his animalistic side? But he faced Richard Parker, got to know him and then learned how to handle him!

Remember, everything begins and ends in your mind. Do not settle for something mediocre just because you are afraid! Follow your dreams, be brave and you will succeed!

For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart.

Hasn’t the ‘battlefield for good’ always been in the heart itself? Sometimes I notice that people condemn and judge evil so easily, without batting their eyelashes. The evil we see around us comes from the heart not from the state, religion or family. It is in EACH heart as Yan says!

In most cases, the simplest thing to do is to go the easy way, which can only serve to grow the roots of evil in our hearts! Take the road less travelled, it will not be easy, but the rewards will be fulfilling!

I know what you want. You want a story that won’t surprise you. That will confirm what you already know. That won’t make you see higher or further or differently.

Many of us listen wanting only to confirm our own beliefs or thoughts, because discovering something different from our own truth, admitting that maybe what we thought was right is wrong is hard. Having your beliefs change can not only be hard, but also dangerous.

Shattered beliefs can easily result in chaos. So, Yan knows that his story also needs listeners, who will understand and see underneath the surface, because a good story, according to Pi, expands and rises like bread.

When you’ve suffered a great deal in life, each additional pain is both unbearable and trifling.

I do not know what you think, but I agree completely with Yann. But how do we exactly define a great deal here? For me this great deal is when you function like a human being, you enjoy your life and all its little happy moments, but your pain is always with you, like a trusted companion. It doesn’t hurt you anymore, but it never goes away. So, each additional pain is indeed trifling yet unbearable.

To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.

What is the purpose of life if we doubt in every single thing? What type of life is that? It is not easy to trust in something or somebody, but life is not easy! We need something to believe in, something which will help us move; otherwise we will stay immobile, stuck in the same position!

But religion is more than rite and ritual. There is what the rite and ritual stand for.

This quote points out that religion is more than its particulars, it’s about faith. Rite and rituals were created to help strengthen the faith, but just performing them doesn’t mean one is religious! It is about the heart not the means. If you in your heart do not feel the presence of your God, there is no amount of rituals which will make you feel it.

It’s important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. Otherwise you are left with words you should have said but didn’t, and your heart is heavy with remorse.

To move on you must make a clean slate. That means that sometimes you have to say things which you dread saying, but which, if left unsaid, will always hold you back! Living your life with a heart heavy with remorse, always wondering ‘what if’ is not a life at all, in my opinion.

Therefore, use every chance you have to say how much your loved ones mean to you, your colleagues should know how much you value their support, or send a thank you note to people who changed your life!

Why do people move? What makes them uproot and leave everything they’ve known for a great unknown beyond the horizon? … The answer is the same the world over: people move in the hope of a better life.

I could make a bold statement here, and argue that people stay alive because of the hope of a better life. Hope is what keeps us going when everything else seems dark. Therefore, it’s no coincidence that we say ‘Hope dies last!’ If you are doubting whether you should take a step towards a better life right now, know that if you do not do it, nothing will happen! You have to hope and believe that you will get that better life, and you will get it!

You must take life the way it comes at you and make the rest of it.

I believe that in most situations in our lives we can control the circumstances. But there are also situations upon which we have no influence. The only thing left to do then is to accept what comes out of it! In other words, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Besides, it would be kind of boring if we could control everything, where’s the fun in that?

Plus, I am a stark believer that everything happens for a reason, and that there is a ray of hope in every situation, no matter how dark it may seem!

Tigers exist, lifeboats exist, oceans exist. Because the three have never come together in your narrow, limited experience, you refuse to believe that they might. Yet the plain fact is that the Tsimtsum brought them together and then sank.

When Pi retells the version of the story with the Bengal tiger Richard Parker to the journalists, at first they do not believe him, because the story is unbelievable. But, just because they have never experienced Pi’s situation, doesn’t mean it cannot happen! How many times have you thought that something is untrue just because it is hard to believe? Sometimes, the greatest wonders require the most difficult acts of belief!

If you stumble at mere believability, what are you living for? Isn’t love hard to believe? … Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer.

How can you believe that a sixteen-year-old boy spent 227 days adrift with a 450-pound tiger in the Pacific? Do you believe that you have internal organs and a brain? Why? Because science says you do. But the same science cannot confirm the existence of God or how love comes about. Yet, we believe in love, or in God, or in money etc.

The truth is we need something to believe in, be it God, love, family, wealth etc. because it makes living easier and meaningful. Just because it’s hard to believe doesn’t mean it’s not true!

I did not count the days or the weeks or the months. Time is an illusion that only makes us pant. I survived because I forgot even the very notion of time.

Pi survived on the boat with Richard Parker because he didn’t think about what might happen, but instead, focused on surviving, feeding the tiger and remaining alive. All of us should take a leaf from Pi’s book. We sometimes live too closed off in our heads, thinking about the future or the past and what ifs, but not focusing on the present and on the now, the only thing we can influence!

Sometimes, people are too serious about their own lives. Slow down, enjoy the ride. Maybe you are missing out on the wonders around you while rushing to your goal.

Tree took account of road, which was aware of air, which was mindful of sea, which shared things with sun. Every element lived in harmonious relation with its neighbour, and all was kith and kin.

Pi describes the feeling of connectedness revealed to him by God, while returning home from a visit with Mr. Kumar, the Sufi. We can talk about connectedness not only spiritually, but also physically.

All of us share one planet so all of us are interconnected and interdependent in one way or another. Every time we do something to pollute the mother Earth, just remember that we are also polluting the planet for other people, for our children, partners, family etc. If we all just realized, like Pi, that we are all interconnected, I believe we would be living in a far better world. What is the point of life anyway if you live it by yourself and for yourself only?

The world isn’t just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn’t that make life a story?

Our eyes take in tons of information about the world around us — shapes, colors, movements, and more. Then they send the information to our brain for processing. However, not all that we see gets processed by our brain! Since the world is constantly bombarding us with stimuli (sights, sounds, smells), our brain would simply get overwhelmed if it had to process everything. So, it learns to weed out the unnecessary information!

It is the same with things happening in our lives. We perceive them in different ways then our loved ones, even when we participate in the same situation. This is what makes life interesting, a unique story which each of us brings to the same situation! Pi’s opinion is also that no matter how we present the events of our lives, we’re always telling a story, and this is what he hopes Japanese journalists, who want to know the ‘true story’, will realize.

There’s no such thing as “just the facts.” Life is and has always been a story to marvel at, a wonder to look at from different angles!

These were just some quotes that made a big impression on me, and that I felt like I could analyze. If you prefer video over written word be sure to watch the movie based entirely on this book. On the video below you’ll be able to see the trailer for it.

Do you have any other interesting quotes on your mind? If you want to share them, comment below.

If you don’t, check out our inspirational quotes infographic. We hope you will like it!

About the author

Ana P.

I love languages and music. I studied languages, literature and culture in college, and I picked up music degrees in clarinet playing and opera singing. I've performed music throughout Europe and I love introducing others to the joy of singing.

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