Born on 27 February 1934, Das started writing quite early in his life. His first book of poetry, Satavdira Artanada, in Odia, was published when he was in high school, after which he also launched a literary magazine and a collection of short stories. He continued writing during his college years and published a novel Jeebanara Swada, a collection of short stories Vishakanyar Kahani, and a collection of poems, Padadhawani.
His quest for mysticism motivated him to become an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Puducherry. Since 1963, he had been a professor of English literature and philosophy there.
Das was awarded Padma Shri in 2001 and Padma Bhushan in 2020 for his contributions in the field of literature and education. He received the first Sri Aurobindo Puraskar for his research on the lesser-known facts of India’s freedom struggle led by Aurobindo. He was also honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award fellowship.