Mazdaznan Temple Association

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Mazdaznan Temple Association

A Zoroastrian group founded in 1890 by Ottoman Zar-Adhusht Hanish (1854-1936). The name Mazdaznan is derived from the Persian Mazda and Znan which Hanish translated as "master thought," although this interpretation might be questioned by Persian scholars. As a Zoroastrian group, members affirm the monotheistic faith in the Lord God Mazda, the creator of humanity. God finds expression in the Holy Family of Father (the male creative principle), Mother (the procreative female principle), and Child (destiny/salvation).

Hanish was born in Leipzig, Germany. When only a boy, he was supposed to have been taken to a Persian monastery at Math-El-Kharman and taught every major art and science, including occultism. Early in this century, Hanish settled in Chicago, where he founded Mazdaznan. In 1916 he moved to Los Angeles. A European headquarters was established as a colony called Aryana (admitting only white-skinned Aryans) at Herliberg, Lake Zurich.

The Mazdaznans believe that their task is to reclaim the earth and turn it into a paradise, a place suitable for even God to dwell. The process of reclaimation begins with the human body. Hanish taught a series of spiritual exercises centering on breathing and regular prayers and chants. A vegetarian diet is recommended and daily exercise prescribed.

In the 1980s the group moved its headquarters to California. Members are scattered across North America and a number of foreign countries. Hanish wrote several books that embody the group's beliefs and practices. A new magazine is currently being worked on called, All Is Well. Address: 4364 Bonita Rd., #617 Bonita, CA 91902. Website:


Ecroyd, H. R. "A Strange Adventure in Switzerland." The Quest 21, 1 (October 1939).

Hanish, O. Z. A. Health and Breath Culture. Chicago: Sun Worshipper Publishing, 1902.

. Inner Studies. Mokelumne Hill, Calif.: Health Research, 1963.

. Mazdaznan: What It Teaches. Los Angeles: Mazdaznan Press, 1969.

. The Philosophy of Mazdaznan. Los Angeles: Mazdaznan Press, 1960.

Mazdaznan. March 8, 2000.