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Kratu Rishi in Mahabharata and Puranas

Kratu Rishi is one of the six mind born sons of Brahma and is mainly mentioned in the Mahabharata. Kratu is also mentioned as one of the 21 Prajapatis. He is also a member of the group of hermits known as Chitrasikhandins.

As per Mahabharata Adi Parva Chapter 65 the six mind born sons of Brahma are
  1. Marichi, 
  2. Angiras, 
  3. Atri, 
  4. Pulastya
  5. Pulaha and 
  6. Kratu.
As per Mahabharata Adi Parva Chapter 65 stanza 9, Kratu Rishi was the father of Balakhilyas. Balakhilyas, the pigmy sages, are a group of saints and they number 60,000.

It is said that Sage Parashara once performed a huge yajna with the aim of annihilating all the Rakshasas (demons) in the world. The power of the yajna drew the demons into a fire pit. Kratu Rishi came to the rescue of Rakshasas at the yajna which was known as Rakshasa Sattra.

It is mentioned in the Sabha Parva of Mahabharata chapter 7, stanza 17 that Kratu Rishi was an important person in the council of Brahma and Indra.

Katru Rishi was present when Arjuna (Mahabharata) was born.

He also witnessed the birth celebration of Skanda Deva.

As per a story, Shiva once blessed Katru Rishi with a thousand sons.

As per Mahabharata, Katru Rishi had met Bhishma Pitamaha, the grandsire in the Mahabharata, who was lying on bed arrows in the Kurukshetra.