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Vedic Astrology 101: The Differences Between Kaal Sarpa Dosha and Kaal Sarpa Yoga

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In Vedic Astrology, one of the most feared types of Yoga is the “Snake Curse”, the Kaal Sarpa Dosha. The Kaal Sarpa Dosha is purported to be a type of Yoga that brings severe misfortune throughout a person’s life, including sickness, disease (of both mind and body), extreme poverty, and even an early death.

We talked about the Kaal Sarpa Dosha in a previous article and how different types of that Dosha can have different effects. This time, however, we’ll discuss why some astrologers don’t believe in the scary “Snake Curse”, and why the existence of the Kaal Sarpa Yoga actively negates the “evil” Kaal Sarpa Dosha.

But first…

What is Kaal Sarpa Dosha?

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Photo by Anastasia Dulgier on Unsplash

We’ve discussed this in a previous article, but to recap: the Kaal Sarpa Dosha is a type of Dosha (that is, a type of cosmic relation between the planets) that occurs when the Shadow planets Rahu and Ketu align themselves on opposite sides of the planets. Rahu and Ketu can exert a vast amount of influence on the planets they’re flanking, giving rise to the idea that they can cause great harm and unluckiness to natives of the Yoga they encircle.

The Kaal Sarpa Dosha is believed to bring poverty, arguments, poor health, and a general sense of dread in natives born under their influence. While there are remedies to this Dosha, such as praying to Rahu’s sovereign Lord Shiva, it’s generally thought to be something of a life-long curse.

However, many astrologers actively disbelieve in the existence of the Kaal Sarpa Dosha, for a number of reasons:

  • There is no mention of a Kaal Sarpa Dosha in any of the classical Vedic Astrology texts like the BPHS (the Bṛhat Parāśara Horā Śāstra), the Saravali, and many others.
  • Belief in the Kaal Sarpa Dosha’s as a potent curse seems to come only from its name (Kaal means Death while Sarpa means Snake).
  • Vedic Astrologers will always look at the totality of a person’s birth chart, not just a single aspect of the cosmos.

As such, more and more astrologers are pushing for the complete removal of the Kaal Sarpa Dosha from official Vedic astrological study and focus more on the idea of a Kaal Sarpa Yoga. While it might not seem like much, this distinction makes all the difference. With this in mind, the differences between Kaal Sarpa Dosha and Kaal Sarpa Yoga lie not just in the severity of the conditions it brings, but also in the general view of a Dosha not being brought about by a Yoga.

What is Kaal Sarpa Yoga?

In lieu of seeing the placement of the planets between Rahu and Ketu as a ‘curse’ or as malevolent, many Vedic astrologers are pushing for the term ‘Kaal Sarpa Yoga’ to be used instead, as this makes it more of an accurate and unbiased description.

The Kaal Sarpa Yoga, then, would be less of a curse and more of a specific type of Yoga that has both positive and negative qualities that it grants natives. Because of this fact, more and more modern day Vedic astrologers believe that the Kaal Sarpa Yoga is not anything special, and is incapable of blessing their natives with great talents or cursing them with malicious luck.

However, this doesn’t mean that the different types of Kaal Sarpa Yoga have no benefic or malefic influence on its natives. Each type of Kaal Sarpa Yoga has its own unique benefits and pitfalls:

Annant Kaal Sarpa Yoga

The Annant Kaal Sarpa Yoga is formed when Rahu is in the first house while Ketu is in the seventh, with all the planets situated to the left of this formation. Natives of this Yoga are said to be lucky, with many Annant Kaal Sarpa Yoga natives being blessed with numerous windfalls and good fortune throughout their life. However, the position of Ketu in the seventh house brings malefic energy that affects couples; as such, natives of this Yoga often struggle with marital issues. Because of this, many Annant Kaal Sarpa Yoga natives get married later in life, when both their passions and emotions are much calmer.

Through hardwork, self-reflection, and prayers to Lord Shiva and the Goddess Parvati, natives of this Yoga can experience the benefits of Annant Kaal Sarpa Yoga more than its downfalls. It might not be easy, but the struggle the native goes through to self-improvements will make them better and stronger people later in life.

Kulik Kaal Sarpa Yoga

The Kulik Kaal Sarpa Yoga occurs when Rahu is in the second house and Ketu is in the eighth. In general, this Yoga often brings sicknesses to its natives as well as financial troubles. This is not the most auspicious of signs, and can, in fact, be a hindrance to the personal and financial growth of its natives. Of course, while regular worship and offerings to the temples of Lord Shiva would mitigate most of the negativity of this Yoga, the most effective remedy would be to give to charity.

It might seem counter-intuitive, but financial charity is one of the best ways that Kulik Kaal Sarpa Yoga natives can turn their luck around: selfless acts are always favored by the Gods, especially more so from someone who is struggling themselves.

Vasuki Kaal Sarpa Yoga

The Vasuki Kaal Sarpa Yoga forms when Rahu occupies the third house and Ketu is in the ninth, while all the planets are situated to the left of the pairs axis. Natives of this Yoga are at the mercy of Rahu and Ketu’s push and pull from this position, meaning that those born under this Yoga will experience fluctuating luck, with sudden gains and sudden misfortunes happening on a regular basis.

Astrologers believe, however, that the blessings of this Yoga can be maximized if the overall birth chart of a person leans more towards benefic energy, or if there are no malefic aspects in the 9th house.

Shankpaal Kaal Sarpa Yoga

The Shankpaal Kaal Sarpa Yoga is formed when Rahu occupies the fourth house and Ketu is in the 10th, while the rest of the planets fall in between. Natives of this Yoga have a tendency to face issues regarding their domestic life, with a specific difficulty in finding comfort at home. This uncomfortability both at home and in one’s own skin makes the native generally unhappy, which can affect their work, marriage, parenting, and of course, overall health.

The position of Rahu in the fourth house, however, brings great political power and success to this Yoga’s native, with sudden positive turns of fortune happening later in life should the Sun or Ketu in the 10th house are influenced by a benefic energy.

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