What do you get when you add 3 guys, 3 dogs, a car, plus one jew?

Through this video we tried to demonstrate the Hindu belief of reincarnation with the characters from our group dying then turning into dogs through the mentioned belief, then Dying and turning back into humans. The belief of reincarnation is a classic example of the Hindu religion, and our video was to attempt to explain that belief in a somewhat amusing way.

"I know my surviaval is hard to believe. When I think back, I can hardly believe it myself" (Martel 282).
You know you have to wonder as well: why is Pi alive to this day telling us of his story? Is it by his wit and will that allowed him to endure the wrath of nature both animal or sea? Or does the reason for Pi's survival come down to more than just coincedence, but was someone looking out for him, keeping him safe? So the real question this poses upon all our lives is how we are able to over come such obstucles in our lives by ourselves or is there something helping us along the way.

"We perished away. It happened slowly, so that I didn't notice it all the time. But I noticed it regularly. We weretwo emaciated mammals, parched and starving." (Martel 301).
This brings up another interesting question regaurding life in that you would have to wonder, how do we define life, how do we know we are alive. Some believe it is the experiances we have that no one else could ever imagine or is it the pain we endure. Is that how we all are connected both man and animal, through the suffering that we go through? Is it possible to live a life without pain and still consider it living or is it when we feel something as primal as that is when we know?

"Nature was sinking fast. I could feel a fatal weakness creeping up on me. I would be dead by the afternoon." (Martel 305).
The conversation we had over this quote wouldn't be nessicarly an existential in essance but still an interesting topic nonetheless: how would you behave when you are hours away from death. Being incapabable of doing anything about it, or do anything in general, where would your head be how would you behave? Some of us say we would lose our minds and scream to the winds, some would make peace with god and ourselves, others would strip down naked and run in circles. We believe that it is in the last hours you have left on this earth that our true selves become apparent, so you have to wonder who are you really when the time has come?

Pooh extension:

With the Winnie the Pooh parody we thought that it was a bit confusing at first and that it was hard to really see where the author was trying to go with it. But then when they got to Owl's house it started to make sense that they believed that they were what they were because they truly wanted to be what they were or for a lack of a better way to say it, themselves. And even though they didn't remember having a choice or if one was consciously even given to them they ended up deciding that because they really only did want to be themselves that they must have had a choice. However according to what we talked about in class on Wednesday about Existentialism and those who study it they all came to the same conclusion and the answer was the same though the question of who they were and whom they wanted to be was the only real difference, would that be satisfactory for a teacher of existentialism or would they expect three answers to three different questions? Or perhaps the answers and questions have to be more specific making each different thus appeasing the existentialism beliefs? No matter how it is looked upon it boggles the mind which I guess it should because what else would people ponder if not existence?


This group is following Pi as he explores Hindu faith. They will relate words, phrases, quotes, symbols, etc. to the nature of god and how faith translates to life.

This is a picture of Hindu Gods. We found it interesting that Pi is able to practice so many different religions with unique gods. (Hinduism Group. Lindsay, Leslie, Amanda, Austin)
This is a picture of Hindu Gods. We found it interesting that Pi is able to practice so many different religions with unique gods. (Hinduism Group. Lindsay, Leslie, Amanda, Austin)

An Overview of Hinduism

Hinduism differs from Christianity and other Western religions in that it does not have a single founder, a specific theological system, a single system of morality, or a central religious organization. It consists of "thousands of different religious groups that have evolved in India since 1500 BCE." 1
Hinduism has grown to become the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. It claims about 837 million followers - 13% of the world's population. 2 It is the dominant religion in India, Nepal, and among the Tamils in Sri Lanka. According to the "Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches," there are about 1.1 million Hindus in the U.S. 3 The "American Religious Identification Survey" is believed to be more accurate. 4 They estimated smaller number: 766,000 Hindus in 2001. Still, this is a very significant increase from 227,000 in 1990. Statistics Canada estimates that there are about 157,015 Hindus in Canada. 5
Hinduism is generally regarded as the world's oldest organized religion.
Most forms of Hinduism are henotheistic religions. They recognize a single deity, and view other Gods and Goddesses as manifestations or aspects of that supreme God. Henotheistic and polytheistic religions have traditionally been among the world's most religiously tolerant faiths. However, until recently, a Hindu nationalistic political party controlled the government of India. The linkage of religion, the national government, and nationalism led to a degeneration of the separation of church and state in India. This, in turn, has decreased the level of religious tolerance in that country. The escalation of anti-Christian violence was one manifestation of this linkage. With the recent change in government, the level of violence will diminish.
~ www.religioustolerance.org (Hinduism Group - Amanda Ford). Make sure, when you add a quote, picture, etc., to discuss it, question it, try to find deeper meaning as it relates to Pi.--Mrs. Davis

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Hindu Terms

Atman The real self, the eternal life principle.
Brama The creator god
Brahman Ultimate Reality
Brahmin A member of the priestly caste, the highest class.
Dharma The teachings of virtue and principle
Karma The culminating value of all of one's life actions, good and bad, which together determine one's next rebirth and death.
Mahabharta One of the national epics of India.
Maya The power that produces the phenomena of physical existence.
Moksha The term for liberation from the bondage of finite existence.
Puranas Part of the Hindu scriptures consisting of myths and legends mixed with historical events.
Samsara The rebirth of souls passing on from one existence to another until release can be achieved, reincarnation.
Upanishads Part of the Hindu sacred texts containing treatises on the nature of ultimate reality and the way to achieve union with the absolute.
Veda The oldest of the Hindu scriptures, consisting of four collections of sacred writings.
Yoga The Hindu path of union with the divine. Any sort of exercise (physical, mental or spiritual) which promotes one's journey to union with Brahma.
McDowell, Josh and Don Stewart, Handbook of Today's Religions. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983. Twelfth printing, June 1992.

Written by Sara Wenner, 2001
(Hinduism Group. Period 6. Amanda, Leslie, Lindsay, Austin) Make sure, when you add a quote, picture, etc., to discuss it, question it, try to find deeper meaning as it relates to Pi.--Mrs. Davis

external image map_india1.jpgThis is a map of India. India is the place Hinduism was founded. Hinduism is the third largest religion practiced in the world. (Hinduism - Amanda Ford).

Hinduism purpose of life: one is to attain liberation (mokosa) form the cycle of reincarnation if karma is unresolved, soul is born into a new body; if karma is resolved then one attains mokosa!! (Hinduism Group- Lindsay Mercier)

The beloved elephant-faced deity popularly known as Ganesh (or Ganesha) has intrigued thinking men all over the world, all through the ages even unto the present day. The sacred texts give a variety of stories narrating the sequence of Ganesha's birth, the most popular being the one mentioning that Ganesha was created by Goddess Parvati as a guardian to her privacy (HINDUISM GROUP- LINDSAY AMANDA AUSTIN AND LES) Make sure, when you add a quote, picture, etc., to discuss it, question it, try to find deeper meaning as it relates to Pi.--Mrs. Davis

Holy Days

//Diwali// Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is the most popular of all the festivals from South Asia, and is also the occasion for celebrations by Jains and Sikhs as well as Hindus. //Ganesh Chaturthi// On this day Hindus all over the world will celebrate the birthday of Lord Ganesh (Ganesh Chaturthi). //Hanuman Jayanti// This festival marks the birth of Hanuman, the Monkey God. //Holi// The spring festival associated with Krishna when people throw coloured powder and water at each other. Holi also celebrates creation and renewal. //Krishna Jayanti (Janamashtami)// The Janamashtami festival marks the birth of Krishna, one of the most popular Gods in the Hindu pantheon. //Mahashivratri// Mahashivratri is a Hindu festival dedicated to Shiva, one of the deities of the Hindu Trinity. //Makar Sakrant// Makar Sankrant is first Hindu festival of the solar calendar year, falling on January 14. //Navaratri (Navratri)// Navaratri (nine nights) is one of the greatest Hindu festivals. It symbolises the triumph of good over evil. //Raksha Bandhan// Raksha Bandhan is the Hindu festival that celebrates brotherhood and love. //Rama Navami// Rama Navami celebrates the birth of Lord Rama, son of King Dasharatha of Ayodhya. //Thaipusam// Colourful, devotional and painful celebrations in Malaysia! //Vaisakhi// What is common to all Hindus is that, at the time of Vaisakhi, people will go to the temple to pay their respect and seek blessings, and gifts and sweets will be exchanged between friends and family members. //Varsha Pratipada// Varsha Pratipada is the Hindu Spring New Year

(Hinduism Group...Period 6...Amanda, Lindsay, Leslie and Austin) Make sure, when you add a quote, picture, etc., to discuss it, question it, try to find deeper meaning as it relates to Pi.--Mrs. Davis



Hindu worship, or puja, involves images (murtis), prayers (mantras) and diagrams of the universe (yantras).
Central to Hindu worship is the image, or icon, which can be worshipped either at home or in the temple.

Individual rather than communal

Hindu worship is primarily an individual act rather than a communal one, as it involves making personal offerings to the deity.
Worshippers repeat the names of their favourite gods and goddesses, and repeat mantras. Water, fruit, flowers and incense are offered to god.

Worship at home

The majority of Hindu homes have a shrine where offerings are made and prayers are said.
A shrine can be anything: a room, a small altar or simply pictures or statues of the deity.
Family members often worship together. Rituals should strictly speaking be performed three times a day. Some Hindus, but not all, worship wearing the sacred thread (over the left shoulder and hanging to the right hip). This is cotton for the Brahmin (priest), hemp for the Kshatriya (ruler) and wool for the vaishya (merchants).

Temple worship

At a Hindu temple, different parts of the building have a different spiritual or symbolic meaning.
  • The central shrine is the heart of the worshipper
  • The tower represents the flight of the spirit to heaven.
  • A priest may read, or more usually recite, the Vedas to the assembled worshippers, but any "twice-born" Hindu can perform the reading of prayers and mantras.

Religious rites

Hindu religious rites are classified into three categories:
  • Nitya
    • Nitya rituals are performed daily and consist in offerings made at the home shrine or performing puja to the family deities.
  • Naimittika
    • Naimittika rituals are important but only occur at certain times during the year, such as celebrations of the festivals, thanksgiving and so on.
  • Kamya
    • Kamya are rituals which are "optional" but highly desirable. Pilgrimage is one such.

Worship and pilgrimage

Pilgrimage is an important aspect of Hinduism. It's an undertaking to see and be seen by the deity.
Popular pilgrimage places are rivers, but temples, mountains, and other sacred sites in India are also destinations for pilgrimages, as sites where the gods may have appeared or become manifest in the world.

Kumbh Mela

Once every 12 years, up to 10 million people share in ritual bathing at the Kumbh Mela festival at Allahabad where the waters of the Ganges and Jumna combine.
Hindus from all walks of life gather there for ritual bathing, believing that their sins will be washed away.
The bathing is followed by spiritual purification and a ceremony which secures the blessings of the deity.

River Ganges

The river Ganges is the holiest river for Hindus.


This city, also known as Benares, is situated on the banks of the Ganges and is one of the most important pilgrimage centres.
It is said to be the home of Lord Shiva where legend has it that his fiery light broke through the earth to reach the heavens.
A Hindu who dies at Varanasi and has their ashes scattered on the Ganges is said to have experienced the best death possible.

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The Four Goals of Life

Classic Hinduism promotes four different goals. Like other aspects of Hinduism, the goals are split between those emphasized by the "life is good" perspective and those emphasized by the "life is bad" perspective. The three life-affirming goals are Dharma (virtue), Artha (success) and Kama (pleasure), while the life-negating goal is that of moksha (release).
The three "life is good" goals can be pursued all at once or at different times in one's life. Some goals seem more suited to different stages of life than others.
Dharma is the practice of virtue, the living of an ethical and ritually correct life. The definition of what is virtuous, however, varies, depending on a person's caste and jati membership. The primary virtue is to fulfill the duties assigned to one's caste. Thus a brahmin should offer sacrifices and do them to the best of his ability, while a Vaishya silversmith should create his plates and bowls as strong and beautiful as possible. If either person tried to do the other's job, that would be seen as violating their caste duty. The dharma a person is expected to fulfill also varies depending on their stage of life. A student, for instance, becomes virtuous through a different set of actions than a householder.
Artha is the working for and achieving of success, in terms of both wealth and power. This means it is religiously important to be a successful businessman, to sell a lot of carpets for instance, or to manage a successful restaurant. It also means that it is religiously good to serve on the city council, to be active in civic organizations, or even to become a politician. This kind of success is most easily achieved at the householder stage of life.
Kama is pleasure, usually understood as aesthetic pleasure of all kinds. This includes: the producing and enjoyment of art, music, dance, drama, literature, poetry, and sex. (The "Kama Sutra," which may be one of the best known Hindu texts in the West, is about the aesthetic pleasure of men and women; it discusses beauty, music, dance and sexual activity.) It is thus religiously praiseworthy to take part, to support, or just to appreciate any form of pleasure. This should always be done, of course, within the realm of dharma (i.e., in a virtuous manner).
The "life is bad" goal is moksha. It is the striving for release from life (since, after all, it is bad). To achieve this, a person must turn their back on life and strive to live without the things that make up life. At first, it requires the turning away from the first three goals, of rejecting family, comforts, pleasure, education, and so on. It also requires one to become an ascetic, a hermit, and to spend one's time in contemplation. This contemplation should be directed towards overcoming the maya that clouds human perception of reality and towards realizing the true nature of the cosmos and one's place in it (that atman and Brahman are one). (For further discussion, see The Cosmos.) Make sure, when you add a quote, picture, etc., to discuss it, question it, try to find deeper meaning as it relates to Pi.--Mrs. Davis

(Hinduism Period 6 Amanda Lindsay Leslie Austin)

EXISTENTIALISM ---Our thoughts, images, and discoveries

1st quote: "What could justify such divine stinginess? Love, repeated Father Martin." pg 71

2nd quote: "You might think I lost all hope at that point. I did. And as a result I perked up and felt much better." pg 169

3rd quote: "Despite the tradegy afflicting me, despite not feeling well, I let out a laugh." pg 152

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The Winnie the Poo Parody proved that stories should be abstract. They should tell a story of why it happened at the same time making you think critically about it. Its not about the right answer its about finding your own opinion to it. In Life of Pi, Pi has to think critically about how to survive with nothing. He can figure out how to make salt water pure, how to make shelter, and what to eat. We learned that life isn't simple and there isn't an answer to everything and that is why we need to find the deeper meaning.

Created By Josh Rody, Jeremy Leadem, and Luke Sheffield