agre rāhau adhau ketau sarve madhya grahaḥ|

Kāla Sarpa Yoga is one of the most feared and discussed yogas in Vedic astrology. Whilst its classical reference is uncertain, it’s equated to the nabhasa yogas as it has an overriding effect on the chart much like the nabhasa yogas.

ketu_pattachitraThe remedies for this among astrologers, today range from wearing gemstones of all planets to making a pilgrimage to the Kāla Hasti temple in Andhra Pradesh, India.

The yoga is said to envelope the native in a life of bondage, with little success arising in life, until the yoga matures at the age of forty. To add, the yoga has been given different names of the divine serpents, depending on the twelve different ways the yoga can form. With the wide range of remedies available, and a much wider range of confusion, the tradition of Śri Achyuta Dasa teaches the following:

Traditional teaching: Kāla Sarpa yoga is formed when all the planets are placed in between the two nodes of the moon: Rāhu and Ketu. Thus the nodes, splitting the zodiac in half, would have all the planets placed in the signs in-between Rāhu to Ketu, or from Ketu to Rāhu. This is known as kāla sarpa yoga. There are however two variations of this yoga. The node which is in-front of the planets is said to be the head, and if this head is Rāhu, the yoga is known as Kāla Sarpa yoga. However if this head is Ketu, then the yoga is Kāla Amṛta yoga.

The difference between the two is obvious from their names:

  • Kāla Sarpa yoga will push one into a life of sense-objective experience, in other words, a materialistic life.
  • Kāla Amṛta yoga instead puts one on the path of spirituality.

Whilst either would seem attractive depending on personal preference, the yoga torments the native’s life before giving the above path. The native lives a life of bondage and torment between the two extremes of material life and spirituality until the appropriate age. The area of bondage is indicated by the house joined by the nodes. How the bondage manifests must be ascertained through the analysis of the nodes from lagneśa, arūḍha lagna, kāraka lagna, etc.


Area of bondage

First/seventh Fame, name, health, character, aspirations/relationships and partnerships
Second/eighth Wealth, family/debts and diseases
Third/ninth Strife, aggression/higher education, world view
Fourth/tenth Home, property, happiness/work and profession
Fifth/eleventh Children, subordinates, supporters and lack of the same, future planning
Sixth/twelfth Diseases and recovery of illness, as well as enmity

The bondage experienced by the native is the superimposition of maya onto the person in an overwhelming way. As a result the satya or truth of the chart (sūrya and chandra) becomes deterred in the native, to the extent of the native following an agenda different from that suggested by the chart. The head of the yoga being either Rāhu (kāla sarpa) or Ketu (kāla amṛta) will suggest which agenda.

Just as the light of the Sun removes darkness, so also truth dispels untruth and can break the kāla sarpa/amṛta yoga. The houses of truth are the first and seventh houses, which symbolize the entrance into this world and exit here from, respectively. Planets placed in the first or seventh from the respective node, or in the first or seventh from the lagna will thus be able to break the yoga and establish truth.

House/Rasi Naga
First/Aries Vasuki
Second/Taurus Kacanira
Third/Gemini Takshaka
Fourth/Cancer Sahajanya
Fifth/Leo Elapatra
Sixth/Virgo Sankhapala
Seventh/Libra Dhananjaya
Eighth/Scorpio Airavata
Ninth/Sagittarius Mahasankha
Tenth/Capricorn Karkotaka
Eleventh/Aquarius Kambhala
Twelfth/Pisces Asvatara

If the planet breaking the yoga is malefic, then the experience of the truth is quite terrible and can lead to sorrow or general unhappiness in life. Contrary to this a benefic planet doing the same, will give a pleasant and happy experience upon the realization of truth, and escape from bondage.

In case of kāla sarpa/amṛta yoga, the astrologer should always advise remedies of the benefic planets breaking the yoga, otherwise the success of the native will be obstructed continuously in life. If no benefics seem to be breaking the yoga, the strengthening of the most auspicious among the two gurus: Jupiter and Venus should be advised, as these two Gurus can lead the native out of the bondage of the yoga.

Specifically, it’s said that the kāla sarpa yoga, with Rāhu as its king, eclipses the Sun who in turn needs the saving grace of Bṛhaspati/Jupiter. Similarly, the kāla amṛta yoga, with Ketu as its king, eclipses the Moon, and śukrācarya/Venus is the saving grace. Yet, in either case both the gurus Jupiter and Venus, must be assessed to find the saving grace in the chart.

Graha Mahāvidyā Nama mantra
Sun Matangī om mātangyai namaḥ|
Moon Bhuvanesvarī om bhuvaneśvaryai namaḥ|
Mars Bagalāmukhī om bagalāmukhyai namaḥ
Mercury Parāsundarī om parasoundaryai namaḥ|
Jupiter Tārā om tārāyai namaḥ|
Venus Kamalatmikā om kamalatmikayai namaḥ|
Saturn Dakṣiṇakalī om dakṣiṇakalike namaḥ|
Rahu Chinnamastā om cinnamastayai namaḥ|
Ketu Dhumavatī om dhūmavatyai namaḥ|

Having ascertained the saving grace in the chart, the Mahāvidya of the particular devata must be prescribed as worship to the native. The Mahāvidya will remove the avidya experienced by the native due to the kāla sarpa/amṛta yoga, and ensure the welfare of the native.

Hereunder I, the scribe, submit my personal experiences with the application of these principles, and the ‘unlocking’ of the kāla sarpa yoga.

to be continued…