The 82 Family Letters to the Western Family of Lovers and Followers of Meher Baba were written by Baba’s sister, Mani, at Baba’s request from 1956 until 1969. Because Baba was so much in seclusion during that period, these letters were eagerly awaited and avidly read, the only consistent source of news of the Avatar. They are full of minute detail of the daily life of Baba and His mandali, sprinkled with messages from Baba to His lovers, lively and personal in Mani’s inimitable style. And because they were written at the time instead of years later when the small things are apt to fade from memory, they provide a strong feeling of being there, or at least having just received the letters. These are truly “family letters” as they recorded the daily life not only of Baba and His close ones, but news of other Baba lovers around the world; they were the network that kept us all in touch.
Now, they are the best chronicle of Meher Baba’s life from 1956 to 1969. In her introduction to a new edition of 82 Family Letters in 1976, Elizabeth Patterson said these letters also “remain as guideposts to those who will come to know, love and follow Meher Baba and His message of Love and Truth.”