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.
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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, which constitutes part 3 of 4 entitled, 'I' is a Door.