Mani S. Irani – Meher Baba’s Sister
Manija Sheriar Irani or Mani
Manija Sheriar Irani (December 15, 1918 – August 19, 1996) was the younger sister of Indian spiritual master Meher Baba, and one of his mandali. She was chairman of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust and the author of 82 Family Letters.
Besides Meher Baba’s chief woman disciple Mehera Irani, Mani Irani was said by Meher Baba to be his second closest woman disciple and his spiritual sister. Mani was one of only four women out of twenty companions to accompany Meher Baba in his New Life phase, beginning in October 1949. By Meher Baba’s directive given during his lifetime her remains are buried adjacent to Baba’s samadhi in Meherabad, India.
Mani was born in Pune, India, the sixth and last child of Sheriar Mundegar Irani and Shireen Sheriar Irani. Sheriar and Shireen had one earlier daughter Freiny who died of plague at the age of six in 1902. Thus Mani was Meher Baba’s only surviving sister and the youngest in her family. Meher Baba was 24 years old when Mani was born, a period when he was still under the care of sadguru Upasni Maharaj in Sakori outside Ahmednagar. By the time Mani was old enough to know about her famous brother, he was already attracting disciples of his own in Meherabad. Mani attended Catholic school and longed to accompany her brother and live in his ashram as his disciple even as a young girl. She wrote persistently to him, pleading to be allowed to come. Finally Baba made it possible through difficult family negotiations with their mother Shireen who was worried about Mani’s safety and health in the austere and harsh desert life of Baba’s ashram outside Ahmednagar. As a result of such efforts Mani joined her brother as a full resident disciple in September 1932 at the age of only 13.
Books by Mani S. Irani
-82 Family Letters: Letters from Mani Irani (Meher Baba’s sister) to various families. A compilation of letters to various Meher Baba groups around the world concerning Meher Baba’s activities from 1958 to 1969. Sheriar Foundation, 1979 (ISBN 978-0913078259)
-God-Brother: Stories from My Childhood with Meher Baba, Sheriar Foundation, 1993 (ISBN 978-1880619063).
-Dreaming of The Beloved, Sheriar Foundation, 1998 (ISBN 978-1880619186).
-Tales from the New Life with Meher Baba, (Contributing author) Narrated by Eruch, Mehera, Mani and Meheru, Published by Meher Baba Information, 1976 (out of print)