Baba Hari Dass (Devanagari: बाबा हरि दास) (26 March 1923 – 25 September 2018), born in Almora near Nainital, Uttar Pradesh (now Uttarakhand), India, was a yoga master, a silent monk, and a commentator of Indian scriptural tradition of Dharma and Moksha. He was classically trained in Ashtanga Yoga – Raja Yoga of Patanjali (the Yoga of Eight Limbs), as well as Kriya Yoga, Ayurveda, Samkhya, Tantra Yoga, Vedanta, and Sanskrit.
Born into the 13th generation of a Kumaoni Karnatak Brahmin lineage, in the lunar month of Chaitra, in Shukla Paksha (Rama Navami), he belonged to a traditional family and was one of several siblings (four brothers and two sisters). He was an author, playwright, martial arts teacher, sculptor and builder of temples. Upon his arrival in the US in the early 1971, he and his teachings inspired the creation of several yoga centers and retreat programs in California and in Canada. His extensive literary output includes scriptural commentaries to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Samkhya Karika, and Vedanta, collections of wisdom aphorisms about the meaning and purpose of life, essays, plays, short stories, children's stories, kirtan mantras, and in-depth instructional yoga materials that form the basis of a yoga certification-training program.He was an early proponent of Ayurveda in the United States, an ancient Indian system of health and healing. In an annual rendition of Indian classic Ramayana, he taught performing arts, choreography and costume making. With the emphasis on selfless service (karma yoga) that guided his life and action that benefits the world, he devoted himself to helping others and in 1987 he opened Sri Ram Orphanage in Haridwar for homeless children in India. Although he did not speak, he was conversant in several languages in writing.
To the local population of Nainital and Almora, Baba Hari Dass was also known as Haridas (lit "servant of Lord Hari"), as Haridas Baba, as Chota Maharaji (literally "little great king"), or as Harda Baba. Baba Hari Dass of Almora-Nainital is a different person than Swami Haridas who was a spiritual poet and classical musician of Bhakti movement era. Also, Haridas (1594 - 1691 AD) was a known saint of (Dagar) clan from Delhi whose temple exists in Jharoda Kalan village, in Najafgarh.
He is also known as Haridas, Haridas Baba and Baba Hari Dass, Haridas, Chota Maharaji.