Started in 2008 by the Meher Baba Association in collaboration with the Meherabad Archives Museum and the Sheriar Foundation, the project to publish a book of the diaries of Dr William Donkin was completed in November 2011. The date neatly coincided with, what would have been, the diarist’s 100th birthday.
Born on 14th November 1911, William Donkin was a medical student when first he met Meher Baba
in London, in 1933. After he had qualified, Donkin was invited to join Meher Baba in India.
In 1939, as Dr Donkin, he joined Baba’s men mandali at Meherabad and served Meher Baba for thirty years until his death in 1969. He was the only English person and the only male Westerner that Baba chose to keep with Him for the rest of His life.
The diaries chronicle the first five years of Donkin's life with Meher Baba. They start on 31st July 1939, one month before the outbreak of World War Two. They come to a close on 10th August 1945, at the end of that war.
During those years Dr Donkin was enlisted as an Indian Army Medical Officer at field hospitals in Secunderabad and at Wah in north east India (now Pakistan).
However, the constant focus of the diaries is his beloved Meher Baba. Baba’s work, travels, mast ashrams and His talks with the mandali and other devotees form the substance and essence of everything Donkin writes.
There are many treasures to be found in his pencilled notes: such as the way Meher Baba pointedly changed the date of William Donkin’s birthday, the amusing description of how Chanji lost Baba’s pyjamas out of the train window on the way to Gwalior and Donkin’s eloquent translation of the Gujerarti Arti into English.
> click here to view four sample pages.
Reproductions of pages from Donkin's Diaries courtesy of Avatar Meher Baba Trust, India
Meher Baba’s work with masts is also interestingly observed and these notes make Donkin’s Diaries specially relevant to his major work, The Wayfarers.
Donkin’s Diaries - 358pp - 100 photographs - Published by Sheriar Press
To order: email Tanya Moller (UK orders only):
- cost £25 (incl postage)
or from the Sheriar Foundation >click here - cost $35 (plus shipping)