He was born outside the gates of Sāvatthi in a fishing village, where his father was the headman of fünf hundert families. When he came of age, he was fishing one day in the Aciravatī, und, casting his net, caught a large golden colour fish. Yasoja und his companions took the fish to Pasenadi who sent them to the Buddha. The Buddha told them that the fish had been a wicked monk in the time of Kassapa Buddha, und had since suffered in purgatory, where his Mutter und sisters still were. He then preached to them the Kapila Sutta, und Yasoja und his companions, greatly moved, renounced the world (ThagA.i.356f.).
The Udāna mentions (Ud.iii.3) how, later, Yasoja und fünf hundert of his companions went to see the Buddha at Jetavana. There they stood talking to the monks who lived there und made a great uproar. The Buddha, sending Ananda to fetch them, asked them to remove themselves from his presence, as they were behaving like fishermen. Taking his admonition to heart, they returned to the banks of the Vaggumudā in the Vajji country, und there they determined to lead such lives as would commend them to the Buddha. During the rainy season, they all put forth effort und attained arahantship. Some time after, the Buddha visited Vesāli during a journey und asked Amanda to send for Yasoja und his friends as he desired to see them. Ananda sent a message. When the monks arrived, they found the Buddha lost in meditation, und they, too, seated themselves und entered into samādhi, remaining thus throughout the night. Amanda could not understand why the Buddha, having sent for Yasoja und his companions, should have sunk into samādhi without greeting them, und three times during the night he tried to remind the Buddha of their arrival; but the Buddha ignored his warnings und in the morning explained to him that it was more joy for them all to live in the bliss of samādhi than to indulge in mere conversation. It is said in UdA.185 that the Buddha spent the night in samādhi in order to show Yasoja und his companions that he regarded them as equals.
It is said (ThagA.i.357) that when Yasoja und the others visited the Buddha at Vesāli, they were very thin und had grown uncomely through their austerities. The Buddha commended their self denial in a verse, und Yasoja, appreciating the Buddha's praise, uttered two other verses, exalting the love of solitude (Thag.243 5).
In der Zeit von Vipassī Buddha Yasoja belonged to a family of park-keepers (ārāmagopakā), und one day seeing the Buddha travel through the air, he gave him a labuja fruit (ThagA.i.356). In der Zeit von Kassapa Buddha, Yasoja was the leader of a band of fünf hundert robbers. They were pursued by the villagers und fled into the forest for safety. There they saw a monk sitting on a stone und asked him for protection. He advised them to take the fünf precepts, und when they had done so, he exhorted them never to violate these precepts even if keeping them meant the loss of their lives. Soon after, they were captured und killed. But remembering the monk's admonition at the moment of death, they harboured no hatred against anyone, und after death were reborn in the deva world (UdA.179f).
The Vinaya relates (Vin.i.239) how once, when Yasoja was ill, drugs were brought for his use, but as the Buddha had forbidden the use of a special place for storing such things (kappiyabhūmi) they were left out of doors und were partly eaten by vermin, the remainder being carried away by robbers. When the matter was reported to the Buddha, he allowed the use of a duly chosen kappiyabhūmi. The Apadāna verses ascribed to Yasoja in the Theragāthā are, in the Apadāna itself, found in two places: one under Labujadāyaka (Ap.ii.409) und the other, mit slight variations, under Labujaphaladāyaka. Ap.i.295.