Lionel Maithri-Why I Live

Book Reviews — By on December 1, 2010 at 11:54 am


Lionel Maithri. Photo by Andre Cohen.

Lionel Maithri-Why I Live                    

By Buddy Sampson 

Lionel Maithri chronicles his life and explores the meaning of human consciousness in his amazing and thoughtful book, “Why I Live.” 

Called “Personal Testimonies of a Doctor of Metaphysical Sciences in Cosmic Consciousness, Chakra Activation, Near Death and more,” Maithri, who worked in several positions for the Administrative Service of Sri Lanka for over 20 years, dares readers to answer a question in their own lives, “What am I living for?” “What is my purpose in life?” Maithri takes a look at various religions and illuminates the symbiotic relationship between human kind and spirituality. The well-studied gentleman lists the advantages inherent in all religions and studied patterns of human behavior, belief systems and world views of diverse cultures. “It all means the same,” said Lionel Maithri. “There’s just one God.But different religions can be like a buffet-you want to take the best out of each religion, but they are all talking about one God. I believe in all religions as one.” 

In the thoughtful book’s liner notes, Maithri documents and implores readers to focus attention on the tools for leading a purposeful life. He achieves that study with various examinations of different religions, which represent different paths to self development. In the book, he states that he “never had any doubt that the founders of all major religions have been sent to this earth by the same Cosmic intelligence, which is God.” 

Maithri’s life has taken major turns. He was born in 1928 in Sri Lanka, while the country, called Ceylon at the time, was still under British rule. His parents, both teachers, helped develop his innate ability of consciousness and memory. He describes an experience, at the mere age of seven, as “the most significant and outstanding spiritual experience in his entire life.” This experience framed his entire life and served as a catalyst for his quest for understanding the meaning of life and the vessels of spirituality that different religions bring to the surface of human understanding. An introvert as a child, he drew close to nature and identified with the wondrous beauty and majesty that it provided. Fascinated with the pursuit of education, Maithri was an exceptional student and later attended Holy Cross College in Kalutara, a town near Colombo in Sri Lanka. There, he widened his pursuit of spiritual refinement, by utllizing the advanced libraries that the college provided. Later, he assumed the position of Assistant Commissioner of Local government at the Ministry of Local Government Headquarters in Colombo. While in that position, he began the practice of Subud, an international spiritual movement that began in Indonesia in the 1920’s, founded by Muhammad Subah Sumohadiwidjojo. Subud enabled him to develop an even higher spiritual consciousness.   

He achieved one of his biggest ambitions in life by joining the United Nations, as a consultant in Local and Regional Development at CAFRAD, the African Center for Regional Development, which enabled him to travel to Tangier, Morocco. Through his practice of Subud, he met the love of his life, Sreeni, who he married. He had three children, Anjali, Harindra and Senal. His wife Sreeni was a fantastic singer. “My wife was singing on the radio,” he said. “I listened to the radio a lot and of all the singers, I liked her singing the best of all of them, even now.” It was love at first sight and sound. Music was the backdrop of their lives as Sreeni played sitar and Lionel played violin.   

Lionel Maithri credits his wife Sreeni, who co-wrote the book, as one of his inspirations. Photo by Andre Cohen.


Anjali Perera, Lionel Maithri's Daughter. Photo by Andre Cohen.

“Music is their life,” said his daughter, Anjali Perera, reflecting on how they grew up.”All the time we had music.” He later, in 1982, was appointed to be the Staff Development and Training Officer for the Ministry of Local Government in Botswana, Africa. After ending his assignment in Botswana in 1992, he relocated to the United States, moving to California. “It was a like a big pickle,” he laughed, comparing it to a tasty sandwich, with many ingredients and toppings. He found that living in California even further developed his spiritual quest. He immersed himself in books on various religions and found common ground in each of them. Poetry became a fascination for him and he had two poems published in the annual poetry collections of the International Library of Poetry for 2001 and 2002. 

By far, the most interesting aspects of “Why I Live,” are Maithri’s examinations of his life through the microscope of his own life experience. His studies of many religions and his discovery of common ground of them, make his life and readings a fascinating study of human and spiritual development. 

For those that seek growth in spiritual achievement, this sensational book by Lionel Maithri is a must read. Available on 

"Why I Live," a book of Spiritual Consciousness, is available on Amazon Books.

The back cover of Maithri's amazing book, has a picture of his wife Sreeni. Photo By Andre Cohen.

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