Swami Ananda Theerthan, originally named Ananda Shenoy, was born on 2 January 1905 in an affluent Gowda Saraswatha Brahmin family of Tellicherry. His father Ramachandra Shenoy was a port conservator at Tellicherry. Ramachandra Shenoy was a prominent figure of the Gowda Saraswatha community. He was president of the managing committee of the Narasimha temple in Tellicherry. His renowned and sincere service as a port officer got respect and honour of the government at many times.
He assumed his new name at Sarada temple at Sivagiri in 1928. He was close to Sree Narayana Guru and worked against casteism. He entered temples with Harijans and bathed in public ponds to protest against casteism. He established Sree Narayana School in Payyannur in 1931. He promoted inter caste-marriage through the Jathinashini Sabha, founded in 1933. He died in 1987.