Sarpa yog and Sarpashapa yog

There was a question on the Sarpa yog which is sometimes mixed up with the Sarpashapa yog. These are two different planetary combinations which give different results in life. The first one destroys the Kendra houses, ie the physical things which support life and living in the physical sense. And the second one destroys the Dharma trikon, which adds that quality of Life to the experience of Living. Both damage the personality in typical ways. The Sarpa yog does this by draining it of positive energy and the Sarpashapa does it by charging it with negative energy.

Sarpa सर्प in Sanskrit means a serpent, a snake, but in this context is more appropriately also a silent, crawling, tortuous motion. 

Shapa शाप means a curse, spell, ban, malediction or an abuse.


Sarpa  सर्प yog

As per the BPHS, Sarpa yog is a category of the Dala दल yog which is a category under the Nabhasa नभास yog. Let’s break this down. 

First the Nabhasa yog

Nabhasa yog are related to the configuration of the planets, how they are arranged in the chart. Their results, malefic or benefic, are seen throughout the life time and will be exaggerated in the dasha/ significant transits of the concerned planets. There are several types of Nabhasa yog.

Next the Dal yog

These are a category under the Nabhasa. Dal yog are formed when planets are placed in the Kendra houses, ie in the 1st 4th 7th 10th houses of the chart. If one, two or three Kendra houses are occupied then too the Dala yog will operate but at correspondingly lower intensities. The Kendra houses are the pillars of the chart. The personality and the environment, 1st house. The maternal home, nature, nurture, nutrition, culture etc is the 4th house. The partner, business, legal issues, money etc is the 7th. And the father, social prestige and mobility, profession, salary etc is the domain of the 10th. If the Kendra houses are strong, life is easier, if they are damaged life is going to be difficult. The importance of the Kendra केन्द्र houses can be understood by the Bhavat Bhavam भावात् भावं concept. Damaged 4th and 10th houses drain energy from the 7th house which in turn directly drains energy from the 1st house, ie the overall personality and its surrounding environment itself. So if these four are strong by themselves the drain on the main personality is reduced.

There are two types of Dala yog.

1. Mala माला yog – If the Kendra are occupied by only benefics, this is a benefic combination and grants a lot of stability in life. The four pillars of the life are supported and the personality is strongly helped by the agents of the 4th 7th and 10th houses. The pillars are auspicious and favourable thus do not cause a drain on the personality.

2. Sarpa सर्प yog – If the Kendra are occupied by only malefics then it is the malefic Sarpa yog. The pillars of the chart, ie the environment, the home, the partner and the profession are going to be adversarial to the personality. Several issues will be created depending on the nature and power of the malefics. The nature is typically crooked, cruel, there will be poverty, misery, home life and professional life will be disturbed, problems in marriage and with children. Spiritual growth will be negligible. Several things around the person will constantly drain the personality.

The combination will be aggravated if these malefics mutually aspect each other, eg Mars can aspect by the additional 4th aspect or Saturn can additionally aspect by the 10th aspect, thus adding their influences on the other kendra houses too. And all planets obviously aspect by their 7th aspect. The negative effects will be exaggerated during the dashas of the concerned planets, here the Mahadasha, Antardasha and also the Pratyantar dasha should be taken into consideration. Their major transits also can be difficult, causing tiredness and hardship.

The negativity can be reduced if Jupiter aspects these kendras using his additional 5th and 9th aspects. A strong ascendant lord and birth Moon will also help. But in case you have this combination in your chart, it would be advisable to do some remedial action, either Mantra, Daan or regular personal spiritual practice.

For the definition of ‘malefic’ here, consider both types, the planets who are malefic by nature and also those who are malefic by function. And also do a subjective analysis of their behaviour. The planets who are kroor by nature but functionally beneficial will give turbulent results which later become very helpful to you. And the planets who are saumya by nature but malefic by function will give gentler results but cause problems later.


Sarpasapa सर्पशाप yog 

This is a typical combination which destroys the 5th house. (Ref. 300 important combinations) You might get this in some of your sample charts, but as its results can be devastating it is better to be aware of it. If any one of the followings conditions exist in the chart, the Sarpashapa yog exists. 

  1. The 5th house has Rahu in it and aspected by Mars.
  2. The 5th house has Rahu in it and the sign belongs to Mars ie is either Aries or Scorpio
  3. The 5th house has Saturn with/ aspected by Moon and the 5th lord is with Rahu
  4. Jupiter is with Mars and Rahu in the 1st house and 5th lord placed in a the 6th 8th or 12th house. 

Let us briefly understand the implications of these combinations.

In the first and second condition, Rahu and Mars if associated in any way grant drastic and damaging results. The things associated with Mars occur very suddenly with high intensity and cause a lasting change. It hits on the physical as well as the astral body. These events are caused by illusions and over-expectations etc, or related to negative intentions like cheating. And as Mars is associated with heat, passion, rage, catastrophes, surgeries, reproductive organs, occult, openings of every sort, life and also death, it can get traumatic. The results can become worse if this Rahu or Mars is further aspected by Saturn. And its effect reduced if Jupiter aspects either by his 5th or 9th aspect.

Then in the third condition, Saturn in the 5th house generally means that the house is damaged. Plus the effect of Saturn on the Moon dries him out. Moon is nature, nurture, needs, nourishment etc and Saturn denies him all this plus creates a miasma of fear around the keywords of the 5th house and the Moon. Such a person may not have maternal support, neglected childhood etc and also may neither capable nor interested in having children himself. In addition this Sarpasapa condition requires that the 5th lord be damaged by conjunction with Rahu. There will be problems in expression of the self-genius, creativity and lack of confidence covered up by a superficial layer of assumed superiority. The negative effect will be reduced if Saturn is in his Capricorn, Aquarius or exalted in Libra. And enhanced if Saturn or Moon or 5th lord or Jupiter are further aspected by Mars.

The fourth possibility is that Jupiter is with Mars and Rahu in the ascendant. Jupiter is the natural agent of expansion, which naturally includes children. This Jupiter is damaged and with this damaged energy aspecting the 5th house. So he is not going to let the 5th house give very useful results. This person will not feel the internal divine connect, the urge to produce ‘off-spring’, to showcase his genius etc. In addition this Sarpasapa condition requires that the 5th lord to be in the dushamsthan, ie in the 6th house, 8th house or the 12th house. Any planet who owns benefic houses if placed in the houses of turmoil is spoilt and cannot give happy results. This position of Rahu also means that Ketu is in the 7th house so the marriage event may not happen or will be difficult. Relationship with the spouse will be indifferent and apathetic affecting the possibility of having children.

Rahu is a common factor in all these four options. When Rahu heavily influences the 5th house in any way he creates one typical energy problem. The energy of the 5th house is limited to what the person creates with his own actions. And because of the illusory influence of Rahu this point is never appreciated. Rahu connected to the 5th indicates that the person desperately desires to have some sort of ‘off-spring’ but the very nature of Rahu ensures that the intense desire for his illusions will cause over-reach and a fall in the end. As its most tragic result is connected to the possibility of having children so most books limit themselves to only this aspect, pain from the children. But Rahu here is more insidious than just physical children, he afflicts the entire personality by subtly poisoning the Dharma trikon. 


In Sarpashapa सर्पशाप yog, the house in focus is the 5th house. It is the house of personal genius, creativity, self-confidence, connect to the internal divinity, self-love, ie it is the house of positivity and a part of the Dharma trikon धर्म त्रिकोण. It directly connects the personality and environment of the 1st house with the foundations and luck of the 9th house. The 5th house also indicates your children, your students, your higher education, your ability to speculate, your capacity to judge the others whom you meet etc. It is the house of mantrasiddhi, मन्त्रसिद्धि ie if the mantras you work on are going to actually be useful for you. 

If the 5th house is damaged then this damage percolates very strongly into your personality, the environment around you and the foundations of your life, ie the 1st and 9th houses are also constrained from giving favourable results. The worst tragedy that one can have in life is seeing the death of one’s own child or having a insane or severely handicapped child. The Sarpashapa yog can give this pain. In addition miscarriages or childlessness is also possible. If you have ‘students’ in any sense of the word, they will cause you suffering. So be careful about choosing ‘students’, they will not be worthy of what you want to teach them. Whatever you desire to create will eventually give you typical pain. Thus this combination can grant a overall personality which is twisted, the personal genius and creativity will be used to feed the self-ego and selfishness will predominate. Such people are deeply disturbed on the inside and cannot interact with others in really positive ways.

An additional combination, since we are analysing Rahu in the 5th house. If he shifts to the Capricorn or Aquarius navamsha, he gains the power to grant severely inauspicious results in matters of children and the other keywords of the 5th house. In the other navamshas this Rahu gives less intense results.

These basic combinations will be aggravated by 

  • afflicted Jupiter, Moon, 5th lord, ascendant lord and sign.
  • a powerful Rahu, Saturn or Mars
  • more the repeating patterns means more intense results
  • you also have to see the D 9 and also the divisional chart D – which is specifically for children. If these same combinations repeat there too then the problem is a deep seated one.

And obviously the intensity of the malefic issues can be reduced by,

  • A powerful Jupiter, Jupiter, Moon, 5th lord, ascendant lord and sign and positive aspects of other benefics.
  • A weak Rahu, Saturn or Mars 
  • Any support you can see in the D 9 and D – 7
  • Finally despite everything if the ongoing Dasha is of a supportive planet or a significant transit during the marriage, conception and delivery of the child is of strong benefics then the intensity of the negative will be reduced. 
  • To reduce the intensity of the negative effects you can perform Mantra, Daan or pujas with a knowledgable Brahmin as you can afford.

Both the Sarpa yog and the Sarpashapa yog directly hit the personality. But before making negative assessments about your clients, do check if there are any ameliorating influences from the Navamsha chart for the general personality, from the D7 for the children etc. Do not make negative predictions without considering the charts as a whole. And finally as its your role to counsel and help the client, encourage him to perform the remedial measures and to take up the Gayatri mantra as a personal lifetime practice.