Yashobanta Dasa was one of the bhakti poets of odisha who flourished during the age of Srichaitanya and earned a good response from the people for his devotional works. He is one of the famous ‘Panchasakha’ group of poets, the other four being Balarama Dasa, Jagannatha Dasa, Achyutananda Dasa, and Ananta Dasa.
From Pandit Suryanarayan Das’s History of odia Literature it is known that Yashobanta was the third in the line of the Panchasakhas, and born in 1487 in a farmer’s family. His parents were Jagu Malika and Rekha Devi of village Adhanga in Cuttack district. From his childhood he had a spiritual bent of mind. His parents got him married in order to involve him in worldly affairs. In 1509 Yashobanta reached Puri, being attracted by the ‘Samkirtan lila’ of Srichaitanya.
There he became associated with the Panchasakha group. He composed many books of verse and bhajans on Brahmajnana, the most famous among them being Shivasvarodaya, Premabhakti Brahmagita, Divyadehi, Loi Gita, Govindachandragita and Yantraboli. In each of these books he has discussed the philosophy of ‘Pindabrahmanda’ and ‘Shunyabrahma’. His book Bhavishyamalika contains some of his predictions about the people and the calamities that would befall the country. In books like Yantraboli he has given a few diagrams with symbolic letters, suggesting the way to attain Brahma. Though Yashobanta was a devotee of Shunyabrahma, he accepted Lord Jagannath as his presiding deity.
Most of the books and bhajans of Yashobanta are popular among the people of odisha for their simplicity of language. His Govindachandragita is based on the life of Govindachandra and his mother Mukuta Devi, who was instrumental in making her son a sincere devotee of Brahmajnana with the help of saint Hadipa. This book is widely read by people from all walks of life in odisha.
Odia Books By Yashobanta Dasa