by Dr. William Donkin
Dr. William Donkin's first contact with Baba occurred one rush hour at Liverpool Street Station, one of London's large terminus', when evening papers at the bookstall were in great demand, and he impulsively chose The Occult Review, which he had never seen before, and which included Baba as the subject of one letter to the editors. Communicating with the editor, he was put in touch with Baba's office at 50 Charing Cross, where he called for more information. While still a medical student at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, he had also been in search of spiritual healing, visiting several centers in London, whose aim was relief from pain through psychic, hypnotic, magnetic and mental channels, meditation, etc.
Immediately on entering the office, one unforgettable afternoon, he said he was searching for spiritual healing and was at once assured that he had come to the right place, as that was Baba's work. Eight years afterward, he wrote, "The Healing That Matters" for The Meher Baba Journal, Vol. 30. It was during Dr. Donkin's first two interviews with Baba that the Master wrought one of those personal miracles. Fifteen years after those interviews with Baba, to whom he had dedicated his entire life, Dr. Donkin wrote The Wayfarers, a record of unique ‘spiritual healing' by Baba amongst the 'advanced souls, the God-mad, sadhus and the poor', such as no Western medical man had ever before been equipped to attempt. We now quote from his diary sent from India in installments, after his first arrival at Meherabad in July, 1939, just before the outbreak of World War II.
31/7/39 Meherabad, Ahmednagar, India: I left London on July 7th or 8th; I forget the exact date now: it was anyhow a Saturday. There was quite a little party at Victoria (Station) to see me off and to send their wishes to Baba.
I arrived at Clermont Ferrand on Sunday afternoon and it was not until the following afternoon that I managed to buy a 2nd hand bike. Rather short in the saddle, but O.K.; paid 200 francs for it with new front tire and pump. Cycled from there to Marseilles, about 200 miles or so — beautiful hills, with ripening crops, flowers and rivers to Galhein. At Marseilles, I was not able to sell the bike because I had not got a receipt for it at Clermont Ferrand so I left it in the street.
The voyage out was pleasant. Perhaps a bit boring at times, though always stimulating to think I was on my way to Baba: Mediterranean beautiful, Red Sea very hot, Arabian Sea rather rough. Sick twice on first day out of Aden, more or less on purpose as I got fed up with lying down to avoid nausea; after this, was quite refreshed and O.K.
At Bombay, Chanji, Kaka, and Dr. Khumballa, Paramenend and her brother met me on board, and covered me with flowers round the neck and with bouquets to carry. It made me perhaps a little self-conscious, but it was nevertheless a very pleasing way of welcoming me to India: the jasmine has a very wonderful scent. Got the baggage through the customs, having to pay Rs. 13 duty only, and was dropped at Regent Hotel. Thereafter, at Baba's order, Chanji and Kaka took me all round Bombay in a taxi; a fine city.
The next morning, we bought a bedding roll for my use while in India, and after lunch with Dr. Khumballa and tea with Chanji’s relations, took the Poona Mail Train: very