Thursday, October 29, 2015

Initial thoughts on The Joyous Path: The Life of Avatar Meher Baba's Sister, Mani, Volume 1, by Heather Nadel

A package arrived at my doorstep yesterday. Inside were the two volumes of The The Joyous Path: The Life of Avatar Meher Baba's Sister, Mani. I actually squealed with delight, as Mani S. Irani was an amazing woman, and a huge influence in my life. Her love, and her devotion to God, carried out daily, with a smile, a laugh, a touch of tenderness, and a huge dose compassion, helped show me a path to follow, and a way to try and shape my life. I'm not nearly as successful as Mani was, but when I stumble, I can hear her voice encouraging me to brush myself off and try again.

I am not going to write a review yet, as I'm still reading the book(s). I just want to say, that for all who knew Mani, her voice comes through, loud and clear, on every page. I hear her in my head as I read.  I am once again sitting in Mandali Hall at Meherazad, just north of Ahmadnagar, in India, listening to the sister of Avatar Meher Baba share tales of her life's journey. And to those who did not have the fortune to meet Mani, or have never heard of Meher Baba, you're in for a treat. For Mani, regardless of your own personal spiritual beliefs, is the exemplification of the love exchange between Master and disciple. It is a beautiful story, a journey of devotion to God. Heather Nadel, who was Mani's longtime helper and companion, beautifully ties together the tales of Mani and her life. (Full disclosure: I am privileged to call Heather friend, and blessed to call her sister. Just about the smartest thing my big brother Erico ever did was to be persistent and marry this beautiful soul. But even if we did not share a name, I still would love this book. I can hardly believe how perfectly Heather captured Mani's spirit and shares it with the reader.)

In short, The Joyous Path is a joyous read.


  1. From your reaction, sounds like the title is apt indeed!

    Over a thousand pages, all told. I'll be interested in your eventual review.

  2. I have just finished reading these two volumes. I never met Mani, she passed the summer before I got to India. I had read enough certainly to know who she was and enough to be humbled standing before her final resting place in Meherabad. But now she's come into my space. I am further humbled to say that now I feel I know her. I completed the read thinking that Mehera was our example for love and Mani was our example for service. Heather did a remarkable job in writing. 'The Joyous Path' is now one of my favorite reads ever. Prior to reading it I have to say 'Love Alone Prevails' was my favorite. I have a pretty full collection, and I'm one that loves reading what it was like living with Baba. I want to see him, hear his silence, walk with him, sit with him, and Heather has brought daily life with Baba and the Mandali to me in such a tender, delightful way. I am grateful.

    1. Th thank you for that thoughtful, and beautiful, response.