Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana appeared in Orissa at the end of the seventeenth century or the beginning of the eighteenth. At an early age he learned Sanskrit grammar, poetry, rhetoric, and logic and then traveled to holy places throughout India. While traveling, he met the followers of the great teacher Madhvacarya (A.D. 1239-1319). Baladeva mastered the teachings of Madhva, accepted sannyasa, the renounced order of life, and continued his travels, spreading Madhva's teachings as he went.
After some years, at Jagannatha Puri Baladeva met devotees in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Baladeva accepted initiation into the line and quickly became an expert in the Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhanta, the philosophical conclusions of Lord Caitanya and his followers. Baladeva then went to Vrndavana to study under Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, the foremost Gaudiya Vaisnava of that period.
Visvanatha Cakravarti sent Baladeva to Jaipur to resolve a dispute about the authenticity of the Gaudiya Vaisnava line. Priests from another line were trying to convince the king of Jaipur that they and not the Gaudiya Vaisnavas should worship the popular Krsna Deities Govindaji and Gopinatha. The priests said the Gaudiya were inauthentic because they had no commentary on the Vedanta-sutra. Because of Baladeva's pure devotion, the Deity Govindaji dictated to Baladeva a Vedanta commentary, known as Govinda Bhasya, and Baladeva was successful in his mission of authenticating the Gaudiya Vaisnava line.
After the passing of Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Baladeva became the leader of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. He wrote many books on the teachings of Lord Caitanya and is one of the most prominent teachers in Lord Caitanya's line. He left this world for Lord Krsna's abode in 1768.