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“Kalasarpa yoga is found in the horoscopes of both a prince and a pauper”Prof. Rama Palaniappan in conversation with Hemamalini Raghunathan

“Kala” means time, “Sarpa” means Serpent and “Yoga” means combination. So Kala Sarpa Yoga means that the soul is caught by the Serpent of time within the axis of Karma. It reflects unusual and unexpected life-situations experienced by a person, according to his Karma of the previous birth.

rama-palaniappanThere is no mentioning of the Kalasarpa yoga in any classical work of Jyotish . It is most probably tantric in origin, which gives importance to the shadowed serpent powers and other related mysterious phenomena, which cannot be easily solved, but can be identified and understood by their effects. Mostly, the Kalasarpa Yoga is described in South Indian treatises. Analysis of the Yoga and the suitable propitiatory methods are adopted in South India, according to their own traditions, customs and conventions. The Kalasarpa yoga can be noticed in the horoscopes of both a prince and a pauper. Kalasarpa yoga is an ever interesting subject for research scholars of astrology. One such research scholar of astrology, who submitted a project report on Kalasarpa yoga to a renowned university is Prof. Rama Palaniappan .

Prof. Rama Palaniappan (094442 30790) started taking interest in astrology from the tender age of 14 years. His father is his first guru. He learnt astrology systematically from many veterans and universities. Later he started teaching astrology himself from 1965 onwards in universities at Trivandrum, Hyderabad and Madurai. He has published many books on astrology. He has also released a set of VCDs for self-learning course in astrology. Let us hear here the various dimensions of Kalasarpa yoga from Prof. Rama Palaniappan .

Why did you take so much interest in Kalasarpa yoga? Are there any personal reasons, apart from academic interest?
Yes! In my family, horoscopes of many members had planetary dispositions like that of Kalasarpa yoga. It was almost hereditary. Horoscopes of my grand father , father, aunt and myself had Kalasarpa yoga. There was a lot of delay in my aunt’s marriage. So the elders in the family were very anxious to perform the remedies for Kalasarpa yoga in different temples at Rameswaram , Kalahasti etc. I got first-hand exposure to the various dimensions of Kalasarpa Yoga, from my early age. So I made it a point to make a deep study of Kalasarpa yoga, its impact and remedies to reduce the affliction, which will be of great help to the mankind.

What is the concept Kalasarpa yoga?
Kalasarpa yoga is highly inauspicious and considered to be one of the worst Nabhasa Yogas . This is associated with physical deformity or moral weakness, misfortunes, deceit and treason. The fall of a person occurs. Kalasarpa yoga occurs, when all the planets are hemmed between Rahu and Ketu . The positive qualities of this Yoga are that, the native can acquire a capacity to do arduous work, with exceptional success in the fields of studies, administrations, philosophy etc. Moreover one can fulfill his desires of his life, either in the materialistic concept or in the spiritual scope.

“Kala” means time,“Sarpa” means Serpent and “Yoga” means combination. So Kala Sarpa Yoga means that the soul is caught by the Serpent of time within the axis of Karma. It reflects unusual and unexpected life-situations experienced by a person, according to his Karma of the previous birth.
Please tell us about the formation of Kalasarpa Yoga.

Agre rahur atho kethu,
Sarve Madhya gata graham,
Yogam Kalasarpakhyam,
Nripa Sasya Vinasanam

According to the above sloka “ Rahu must be ahead of the Ascendant and Ketu behind it; all the planets should occupy between them; no planet should be in conjunction with Rahu or Ketu . This is a definition for Kalasarpa Yoga.

Mr. K.K. Kurup of Kerala, the editor of Jyotisha Masika gives still more elaborative details about the Kalasarpa Yoga.

Sarvanabho gasthishta thiyagu Sikhino, Anthrala rasigatha
Malyavadanthara rahithah Yatha thatha Kalasarpa Yogasyala

Anuloma vilomathkala Dwidhoyam Kalasarpayogascha
Anthoykthasch anistom karithi Poorvo maha subada

Sampoorna sakala vibhavaha Samastha Nripavandhithakhri Kamalayuga
Rajadhi Raja Rajo Virajathee Kalasarpa Yoga bhava.

From the above slokas, we can understand that:
  • All the planets must be placed a between Rahu and Ketu continuously, forming a chain without any break. This formation is called the Kalasarpa yoga.
  • The Ascendant can either be within the chain or outside the chain
  • Either Rahu or Ketu can occupy the lagna. So the lagna has nothing to do with the formation of the Kalasarpa yoga.
  • The yoga is of two kinds; one is called the “Anuloma” and the other the “Viloma”
  • The “Anuloma” type produces excellent results, whereas the “Viloma” type produces undesirable results.
  • In Anuloma type, Rahu is ahead within the six rasis from the lagna and Ketu occupies a position behind all the planets.
    Here, one will acquire higher position with all beneficient results.
  • In Viloma type, Ketu is ahead within the six rasis from the lagna and Rahu is posited behind all the planets. Here, one will suffer the maximum and lose his benefits.
What is the special significance of the Kalasarpa Yoga, pertaining to other planets?
When all the planets are located or locked up between Rahu and Ketu , the planets can arrange themselves in various possible positions to activate the Kalasarpa yoga. Such conditions can be briefly mentioned as follows:
  • If the Sun is in the 8th house from Rahu , or When Rahu or Ketu is in the 8th house from Moon, Kalasarpa Yoga is activated.
  • The Kalasarpa Yoga is predominant, when Rahu or Ketu is located in the 6th , 7th , and 8th house from the ascendant.
  • When Rahu or Ketu is in Kendras , the adverse effect of the Kalasarpa yoga is greater.
  • When Rahu or Ketu is in Trikona , the good effects of the Kalasarpa yoga predominant.
  • Depending upon the movement of the planets either towards Rahu or Ketu , the yoga is named either as Kalasarpa yoga or Kalamrita Yoga.
Could you explain in detail, how to identify between these two yogas ?
Both the Yogas are formed, when all the planets are suitably located between Rahu and Ketu . Some authors like Dr. P.S. Sasthri and Mr. L.R. Joshi consider Kalasarpa Yoga is Viloma type of Yoga and Kalamritha Yoga as Anuloma type of Yoga. In Southern states of India, yet one more condition is given. When Rahu goes towards its exaltation position, and the other planets follow suit, it is said to be a benefic yoga, giving good results to the native; on the other hand if Rahu goes towards its debilitated position followed by other planets, it is said to be a malefic yoga, giving bad results to the native.

One school of thought says that when lagna, Sun, Moon or any one of the planets is away from the sequence of Kalasarpa arrangement, the yoga is said to be nullified, but another school of thought insists that there will be nullification, only when two or more above said factors are away from such arrangement. So conceptually, it has been accepted that occupation of the planet between Rahu and Ketu is the essential condition for the Kalasarpa Yoga.

How much effective is the Kalasarpa Yoga?
Since the Nodes of the Moon are associated with Karmic attributes, the yoga inflicts certain restrictions over a natal chart. It expresses karmic nemesis.

The Kalasarpa Yoga will be mostly operative between the ages of 39 and 45 years.

When the Lagna is not included in the yoga and goes out of the axis of Rahu and Ketu , lesser will be the adverse effect.

Kalasarpa yoga is not like other yogas generally formed by the combinations of Mars, Sun or Moon, producing enrichment or penury. The encirclement of all the planets in the natal chart by the two nodes makes the individual to enjoy the fruits of previous Karma. If a person suffers at the present birth due to the bad deeds of the previous birth (Sanchita Karma) and do good at this birth (good Prarabdha Karma), with Kalasarpa yoga being present in the horoscope, then the suffering in the present birth will be gradually changed into good. The native will have good worldly life with spouse and children.

It has been found that if Rahu or Ketu conjoins with any planet either in the ascendant or in the 7th house from the lagna, a partial cancellation of the yoga occurs, which results in Raja Yoga at the respective attributed house. The native will enjoy either good or bad according to the dispositions of the lords of the ascendant and the 7th house in the natal horoscope.

The impact of the Kalasarpa Yoga is greatly minimized, if three or more planets are exalted or in parivartana or the lords of the 2nd , 4th , 9th and 10th occupy the Trikona or Kendra houses, without debilitation, inimical positions or aspected by malefics.

Kalasarpa yoga formed during the transits of Rahu and Ketu plays a vital role in the mundane affairs, generally causing unexpected natural havocs and calamities. According to Vedic astrology, the Kalasarpa yoga does not include the influence of the outer planets like Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.


What are the different types of Kalasarpa yogas ?
Since Rahu and Ketu are placed at 180 to one another, they can form twelve different types of Kalasarpa yogas.

Anantha Kalasarpa Yoga : Rahu occupies the lagna and Ketu the seventh house. Other planets are between them. Struggle for progress; late marriage; affliction of his health and spouse’s health, miserable married life. After 27 th year, situation gradually improves. This also leads him to spiritual life.

Kulika Kalasarpa Yoga : Rahu occupies the second house and Ketu the eighth house, Other planets are between them. Financial setback; loss of ancestral property, parental debts, health afflictions. Members of the family will not be co-operative. He may lose many good opportunities by his talk and temperament. After 33rd year, life improves gradually.

Vasuki Kalasarpa Yoga : Rahu occupies the third house and Ketu the ninth house. Other planets are between them. Trouble from siblings and parents, timid, lack of self-confidence; becomes unpopular. After 36 years, prospects will gradually improve.

Shankuphala Kalasarpa Yoga : Rahu occupies the fourth house and Ketu the tenth house; other planets are between them. Financial loss due to his family or his bad habits. Successful in job, business, profession and other undertakings. Inconsistant in his efforts. Troubles continue upto 43 years of age.

Padma Kalasarpa Yoga : Rahu occupies the fifth house and Ketu the eleventh house, other planets are between them. This yoga clearly indicates that the native lacks poorvapunyaphala. i.e. he or his parents have not done good Karma in their previous birth. The sufferings of the native will be of very high order. No progeny in general, if begets children, they do not have good and meritorious career; parents will also suffer after their birth; bad health, loss of wealth and ancestral properties. Suffering will be upto 48 years. Illegitimate child and death in a foreign land for some.

Mahapadma Kalasarpa Yoga : Rahu occupies the sixth house and Ketu the twelfth house, other planets are between them. This yoga is the worst in all respects. A lot of enemies, heavy financial problems; disappointments in life, involvements in life, involvement in anti-social activities; punishment etc. Miserable life upto 54 years of life.

Takshata Kalasarpa Yoga : Rahu occupies the seventh house and Ketu the first house; other planets are between them. Troublesome married life; inclination towards philosophy, occult sciences and black magic. If other planetary position are good, he will be a saintly person, popular in public life. Good administrator with all potentialities. Upto 27 years, he will lead a normal life; after that drastic change in life-pattern. He may renounce the worldly life, after sixties.

Karkotaka Kalasarpa Yoga : Rahu occupies the eight house and Ketu the second house, other planets are between them. Unfortunate married life, heavy loss in business and other undertakings, more indulgence in sensual pleasures. Legal litigation, minor accidents. Very generous. Problems upto 33 years of age.

Shanchachud Kalasarpa Yoga : Rahu occupies the ninth house and Ketu the third house; other planets are between them. Difficulties in business, problems with people of high rank and social order. He has to fight for his right; he will become popular and all of a sudden he will fall down without any recognition. Problems continue upto 36 years of age.

Ghataka Kalasarpa Yoga : Rahu occupies the tenth house and Ketu the fourth house, other planets are between them. Hard time regarding profession, finance, marriage, house, land and vehicles. Loss in undertaking; insulted by others. Better period after 42 years.

Vishdhana Kalasarpa Yoga : Rahu occupies the eleventh house and Ketu the fifth house, other planets are between them. Few children who are antagonistic. No good earnings, go out of native place for livelihood. Problems will continue until 48 years of age.

Sesh-naga Kalasarpa Yoga : Rahu occupies the twelfth house and Ketu the sixth house, other planets are between them. Spend-thrift; involvement in politics, imprisonment, open and hidden enemies. Better life after 54 years of age.

Kindly tell us the remedial measures to mitigate the bad effects of the Kalasarpa yoga.
Many remedial measures have been proposed for the mitigation of the bad effects that would be caused by any Sarpa yoga, including the Kalasarpa yoga. Generally the remedial measures include chanting of mantras, propitiation through Yantras, Homas, Japas and gem-therapies. There are some temples where the propitiations are done. Generally temples dedicated to serpents play more important role in the propitiatory methods.

Rudrashatakam can be recited and Rudrabishekam can be performed in a Shiva temple, especially at Sri Kalahasthi in Andhra Pradesh, Rameshwaram , Thiru Nageswaram (specified temple for Rahu) Keezhaperumpallam (specified temple for Ketu) Thiruchengode (specified temple for Serpent) and Someshwaram in Kolathur (known as Dhakshina Kalahasthi).

One has to learn to adapt himself to his present life. He cannot totally change the situation, but minimise the adverse effects, by adopting suitable propitiatory methods and by renouncing the self-centered approach of his life.
  • Wear a Silver ring embossed with two snakes on the Little finger on a Wednesday at the time of Sunrise. Two snakes made with Silver can be kept at the place of prayers and the mantra. Chant “Om Rahave Namah” and “Om Ketave Namah” for 108 times at the time of Sunrise.
  • Urid dhall can be placed in a black cloth and given to a poor person continuously for 72 Wednesdays.
  • Petals of Palash flower or Palach leaves can be dropped in the water. The mantras “Om Rahave Namaha” “Om Ketave Nama” have to be chanted for 108 times and bathed in the same water for 72 Wednesdays.
  • Observe fasting on Naga- panchami day and recite Naga Gayathri for 1008 times.
The days on which the remedies for the Kalasarpa yoga be performed are Nagapanchami day, the day before the Maha Shivrathri , Amavasya day on which the star Arudra , Swati or Satabisha fall, the Amavasya or Poornima which falls on a Wednesday forming the Kalasarpa Yoga in transit, at the time of Solar or Lunar eclipse.
Could you cite a case-study, to explain Kalasarpa yoga?
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, struggled till 54th year. Thereafter, he became internationally a well known person of high reputation and regard. His horoscope is a very specific example for Kalasarpa yoga.

Rahu is in the twelth house and Ketu is in the sixth house. This is the type of Sesh-naga Kalasarpa yoga. According to this, Nehru was in politics, imprisoned for many times for no fault of him; he had suffered from the hands of the direct enemies, the British administrators and the indirect enemies, some of the statesmen in the Congress Party (especially Rajaji , who had started Swarajya Party against him) and the Muslim leaders, who were not co-operative.

Most of the politicians having Cancer sign as the Ascendant are high-ranking ones. Jupiter is the lord of the 6th and the 9th house and is aspected by Mars, the lord of the 5th and the 10th houses. Sun is the lord of the 2nd house, posited in the 5th house. He had the best political career and internationally known to be the best statesman with highest administrative capacity.

Saturn being the lord of the 7th and 8th houses, posited in the 2nd house, the house of the Sun, the native did not have a good family life. Although he was born with a silver spoon, throughout his life he was suffering and his family was also suffering because of him. His wife Kamala Nehru died at very early stage because of sickness. His daughter India Gandhi was living a life of a deserted child, without any parental care.

Ketu is in the 6th house, posited with the lord of that house, Jupiter. He lost his family life, wealth and all of his betterment and was leading more or less a life of a Karma Yogi. He was successful in his political career, but his family life was destroyed by the Kalasarpa yoga.

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