Kaal-Sarp – Yoga or Myth? Some points to consider…

One doesn’t need to be a Vedic astrologer to have heard of certain ‘terrifying’ words very often used by the astrologers, the astrological media and many novice learners of the art. Some of those that are at the top of the charts are-

a) Kaal Sarp dosha or Yoga
b) Saadhe Satti (7 1/2 yrs. effect of Saturn)
c) Manglik (a negative positioning of planet Mars affecting married life and/ or spouse)

There are many more, but I will cover the above one at a time, starting with Kaal Sarp or Kal-Sarp dosha/ Yoga

What is Kaal-Sarp Dosha?

‘Kaal’ = Time; ‘Sarp’ = Snake. Literally interpreted, it means a person’s soul/ destiny is caught in between a serpent of time. The reader will be aware that Rahu/ Ketu are significators of snakes and other poisonous reptiles

When all planets are hemmed between the 2 nodes – Rahu & Ketu, Kaal-Sarp (KS) dosha forms in the chart (supposedly). I say supposedly because the reference of such Yoga is missing in some of the major astrological scriptures including the most comprehensive scripture of Parasara. (BPHS)

The Yoga or rather Dosha (negative yoga) is supposed to create tremendous problems in a native’s life and make progress almost impossible in the bhav axis in which Rahu-Ketu lie. As an example when Rahu Ketu axis lies in the 1-7 axis and all the other 7 visible planets are on one side of this axis, Kal-Sarp troubles the health and relationships/ marriage of the native. Some include the degree or exact longitude of ascendant as a pseudo planet and consider KS stronger when the ascendant degree is also on the same side of the nodes.

Different names are given for KS as per the bhaavs in which Rahu or Ketu lie. As an example when Ketu is in 1st and Rahu in 7th, this is a ‘Takshak’ KS dosha.

Why is it Controversial?

As I mentioned above, KS is not mentioned in any of the standard astrological treatises which would be strange considering these treatises mention 1000’s of other small and ‘powerful’ yogas and combinations in detail.

So as per one theory, it has been invented by the contemporary astrologers who utilize it as a tool to ‘scare’ vulnerable people into remedies and hence getting paid for the same.

As per another theory, KS dosha exists but is no where as serious as some of these ‘rumors’ have made it out to be.

Also since a significant number of celebrities (famous in their chosen fields of life) or successful by various materialistic yardsticks, do have KS dosha in their charts, it is argued by the critics of this dosha that the existence of such horoscopes negates the existence of KS dosha altogether.

My Thoughts & Experiences regarding KS-

I believe KS dosha does exist.

Having said that, I feel it is only of the many good and bad yogas that exist in horoscopes and blowing its negativity factor out of proportion is uncalled for. I do not wish to argue about where or how the phobia of this Yoga started, but there might be some truth in the argument that it has been blown out of context by some mainframe astrologers and consequently the astrological media.

From a systematic analysis of charts with KS dosha and observing the Maha dasas of Rahu or Ketu of an individual with KS dosha and correlating real time transit KS periods, I have seen that as a matter of fact it is somewhat of a negative/ challenging dosha. However it is not the end of the world by any means. It is just a bottleneck some charts will have and the other Good Yogas and positive factors of the horoscope will not disappear just because the person has KS dosha.

Below are some itemized observations regarding KS dosha and how I believe it should be thought of while analyzing any horoscope-

1) KS dosha occurs when no single planet of the visible 7 planets is outside of the axis of Rahu- Ketu in a chart

2) Even if one planet is outside the axis, KS does not exist. If there is a planet that is conjunct Rahu-Ketu but no other planet outside the axis, then partial or feeble KS will manifest

3) KS tends to be a Karmic dosha as it involves the Karmic planets Rahu & Ketu which tend to work at a sub-conscious level and bring out our deep rooted desires and phobias and also carry forward our Karma from previous lives.

4) When KS dosha exists, both negative and positive Yogas of the horoscope will tend to manifest a bit more floridly. Remember this is something along the same lines as the fact that when Rahu or Ketu conjunct any planet, they increase the effect of that planet as they are ‘shadow planets’ and will reflect the nature and characteristics of the planet that they conjunct

5) KS dosha operates mostly till age 42 when it starts to taper down and by age 48 (an individual’s 47th birthday) KS dosha becomes mostly defunct in a horoscope. The reason for this is that Rahu matures at age 42 and Ketu matures and age 48. Till age 48, the person has already learnt the karmic lessons associated with the KS combination in his/ her chart and is now wise enough to deal the with the energy of this dosha.

6) When KS dosha exists in a horoscope, it shows more floridly only when a person is operating the maha dasa of Rahu or Ketu or antar dasa of Rahu or Ketu in their charts while they are below age 48. Even if below age 42, KS dosha will only mildly manifest when the person is not running Vimshottari dasa of Rahu and/ or Ketu

7) Along the same lines as #6 above, for an individual with KS dosha in their charts and running Rahu/ Rahu or Rahu/ Ketu or Ketu/ Ketu or Ketu/ Rahu periods (implying both maha dasa and antar dasa lords as Rahu and Ketu) will feel the effects of KS dosha the most. As an example when that person’s dasa changes from Rahu/ Rahu to Rahu/ Jupiter, the effects will decrease as per the dasa

8) Further if the native is running Rahu or Ketu maha dasa (MD) and they have KS dosha in their chart, if in the transit also KS dosha occurs, the effects are intensified till the time Moon breaks out in every 14.5 days of the axis (even if the other 6 visible planets are still on one side of the axis)

9) The effects in terms of frustrations and unforeseeable problems showing up in quick succession where the person feels they have to perform rescue acts to salvage the situation. Hard work yields less effects and work usually far exceeds rewards during such periods. The person tends to feel constrained and will typically express “Nothing at all works for me. Everything goes negative”

10) Another feature I have noted when KS dosha is activated by dasa and transit is that the native feels depressed due to repeated failures and sometimes even claims that those who try to help him tend to suffer as well. Many of the problems might be ‘real’. Nonetheless the negative mentality and negative energy loop that develops during such periods will certainly make the person more ‘on the edge’ and they will feel things are much worse than what they usually are

11) One of the best ways to deal with KS frustrations is to develop a habit of inculcating patience in thoughts and actions. Meditation or mind calming techniques help as well. Taking advise from well meaning friends/ families and/ or experts helps a lot. I have seen, as a matter of fact, that most of the damage or negativity is done in such periods as the individual often feels ‘they know it all’ or ‘they know best’ when such periods operate and over-confidence and despair seem to cycle repeatedly forming a downward spiral in real life effects along with psychological effects on the person

12) I have also observed that if the rest of the horoscope has strong and potent yoga causing planets in addition to a KS dosha in a horoscope, the person will have a relatively slower/ hindered growth in the first half of life and can suddenly have a sharp rise in their life/ finances/ fame etc. after age 42. (The exact time is seen from the dasas and transits of course)

13) Many individuals with KS dosha have been lived a very healthy and successful life. Hence the mere existence of KS dosha in a chart should by no means trigger alarm bells.

Some examples of KS dosha are – Jawaharlal Nehru, Alfred Hitchcock, Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela etc.

10 Responses to Kaal-Sarp – Yoga or Myth? Some points to consider…

  1. Dinesh Maini says:

    Dear VS
    Thanks for the clarity on this issue. Will it make any difference if KS is on left or right side of axis?
    Dinesh Maini

  2. Simpy says:

    My DOB 12:04:1978 Time1:07am Place :Amritsar
    Pls help me I feel like ending my life

    • VS says:

      Hi there. I would highly recommend getting some professional/ medical help.

      I unfortunately do not do individual readings. Wish you the best!

  3. Mahesh says:

    What happens if KS Yoga is there say in a particular year’s Tithi Pravesha chart, or in a Dasha Pravesha Chakra? How does one analyze this?

  4. Sundar says:

    Sri VS:
    For cancer asc, with Rahu-Ketu in 6-12 axis (with Sun and Mercury), Saturn in Capricorn, all other planets in Cancer Lagna, is there a KSD? I was thinking Saturn is outside, so there is no KSD


  5. Vidya says:

    1. Is there is a difference if all planets are in between ketu to rahu or rahu to ketu?
    2. If rahu MD comes later in life, after 50 will KSD have any effect?

    • VS says:

      there are technically different types of kal sarp dosha and many theories tagged to each. It is debatable and I follow my own experience
      Usually all planets between Rahu towards ketu (moving in usual fashion not retrograde) will give materialistic extremes in life and vice versa will give more spiritual pursuits. Dasas always have impact as per placement and strength of planet in the horoscope. After age 42, Rahu matures and hence there mental development of an individual will be better to deal with the vibrations of rahu as a planet which helps mollify the effects to some extent. However it does not mean that a highly negative placed rahu in a chart will not give negative results just because the dasa happens after age 42.

  6. Vidya says:

    Thank you for answering.

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