Mazdaznan Temple Association
A Zoroastrian group founded in 1890 by Ottoman ZarAdhusht
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 (destinysalvation).
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 http
www.mazdaznan.org.
Sources
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. httpwww.mazdaznan.org. March 8, 2000.