A scholar and Theosophist, Bhagavan Das was born on January 12, 1869, at Benares (Varanasi), India, into a landholding family of bankers. He had a distinguished academic career, earning his B.A. at Calcutta University when he was sixteen and his M.A. (in philosophy) when eighteen. He joined the Theosophical Society in 1894.
Bhagavan Das was in government service as a deputy collector and magistrate in Uttar Pradesh from 1890 to 1899. He left those positions to become Honorary Secretary of the Board of Trustees and Managing Committee for the Central Hindu College in Benares, which he helped Annie Besant to found. In 1921 he was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment for participating in the Non-Cooperative Movement, but was released after five weeks on a motion of the Government. For many years he served on the All-India Congress Committee and was elected to the Legislative Assembly in Uttar Pradesh in 1934.
Bhagavan Das was awarded the T. Subba Row Medal in 1900, although most of his best-known publications came after that. They include The Science of the Emotions, The Science of Peace, The Science of Social Organization or the Laws of Manu in the Light of Theosophy, The Essential Unity of All Religions, and Annie Besant and the Changing World.