Harati is a 'Yaksheni', one of those benevolent spirits connected with the fecundity of the Earth. In those far off times when the Buddha lived, Harati's love for children spilled beyond the bounds of her own family and caused her to kidnap the children of the Kathmandu Valley whom she spirited away to a secret Garden of Delight and told them wondrous tales.
Distraught, the parents appealed to Lord Buddha who just happened to be visiting the Valley them. Then Buddha craftily arranged to have Harati's favorite child abducted, letting her know that he had done so. In due course, the heart, broken mother appeared before him, begging him to return her child. Where upon the Buddha gently chided her for causing similar heartache to the parents of the children she had kidnapped and returned her child to her.
Harati realized the pain she had caused the parents and returned the children to them but of the Buddha she asked a boon would the Lord make her Patroness Of Children and Protectress of His holy places? The Holy One granted her request and till this day, Harati's shrine stands beside the great Buddhist monuments of the Valley and parents still invoke her patronage and protection for their offspring.