Advaita Vision

Advaita for the 21st Century

The Teaching of Shri Atmananda Krishna Menon

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Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon

P. Krishna Menon was born in 1883 in Peringara, near Tiruvalla in the state of Travancore (now a part of today’s Kerala). After completing the study of law, he became a Government Advocate and Inspector and District Superintendent of Police. He once said that in his early life he prayed at length to encounter a satguru, a teacher in the true sense of the word. One day in 1919, he met such a teacher, one svAmi Yogananda, who lived in Calcutta. They met during the course of one night only. Krishna Menon was particularly touched by the utmost humility of this teacher. He later stated, 'This paralyzed my ego.'

Because of this encounter, he started a sAdhanA, which contained both bhakti and rAja yoga as well as pure j~nAna. Later on having become a teacher himself, he would pass on to others only the j~nAna aspect, and even criticise both the bhakti and rAja yoga aspects.

In 1923 he came to realize his true nature. He assumed the name Shri Atmananda and began teaching. He continued to work in the Police Department up to 1939. Later on, he once said that a profession within the police or the military offers an ideal foundation for a spiritual sAdhanA, because such a profession offers in particular the maximum obstacles and temptations.

In 1959, Atmananda died at Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala.

For further information about Shri Atmananda Krishna Menon's life, see Philip Renard's article, which constitutes part 3 of 4 entitled, 'I' is a Door.


Shri Atmananda wrote and had published the following books:

  • Atma Darshan and Atma Nirvriti (each in Malayalam and English versions, the English versions translated by Shri Atmananda himself)

  • Atmaramam (in Malayalam)

In addition, the following books were published after Shri Atmananda's passing:

  • Atmananda tattwa saMhitA (tape-recorded talks between Shri Atmananda and some disciples - the talks were mainly in English, which have been directly transcribed, and there were also some Malyalam parts, which are translated by Shri Atmananda's eldest son, Shri Adwayananda)

  • Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Sree Atmananda (notes taken by a disciple, Nitya Tripta - the notes were encouraged and approved by Shri Atmananda, during his lifetime)

All the books above (Malayalam and English) are available from Shri Vidya Samiti, Anandawadi, Malakara (near Chengannur), Kerala 689 532, India, with the exception of the last book, which is currently out of print, but should be republished in due course. Meanwhile, it may be downloaded as a PDF file - see below.


After the passing of Shri Atmananda, his eldest son Siri Adwayananda became a teacher in his own right, with many disciples who came to learn from him, at his home: Anandawadi, Malakara (near Chengannur), Kerala 689 532, India. The son has passed away recently, much mourned by his followers.

** Greg also has a page on Shri Atmananda, which discusses the fundamentals of the Direct Path, such as how it starts by bringing the universal under the individual, how it establishes the witness, how the witness stabilizes, and how it finally dissolves into pure Consciousness. There is also an audio interview with Greg on the Direct Path and a link to download a free copy of Atmananda's NOTES FROM SPIRITUAL DISCOURSES.

Ananda Wood is a disciple of Shri Atmananda Krishna Menon. A selection of downloads of his work are available on the Ananda Wood homepage. Alternatively, read his commentary on the teachings of Shri Atmananda Krishna Menon in the following prakriyA-s.

prakriyA-s in this Section:
Atmananda Krishna Menon home page.
1.  Universal and Individual - the 'cosmological' and 'direct' paths.
2.  The three states - enquiry from everyday experience.
3.  'I am consciousness' ('Prajnyanam asmi') - reflection back into the 'I'.
4.  Witness of thoughts - change and the changeless.
     -- Consciousness and Enlightenment
     -- Memory
     -- Higher and Lower Reason
     -- Knowing
     -- Further Comments on Deep Sleep
5.  All objects point to consciousness - 'Existence has the chair.'
6.  Happiness - not in objects or the mind, but coming from the real 'I'.
     -- Love and Devotion
7.  The background - where all experiences arise, abide and subside.
8.  Merging back - 'Sleep in consciousness.'
     -- Some Questions
Ananda has provided an updated version of these essays May 2007 and this may be downloaded as a PDF file (251k); it has a linked Table of Contents and a glossary (unlinked).
"Notes on Spiritual Discourses of Shri Atmananda" now available for download - see 'modern books'.
Selected discourses from Shri Atmananda
Page last updated: 07-Jul-2012