The transit of Rahu-Ketu every one and a half years comes with anxious queries on astrological implications for one. Serpents have always been in our environment, particularly in rural life. The harm done by serpents to man or by man to serpent is a common occurrence. The harm done by man to serpents gets manifest as sarpa dosha.
Serpents signify earth as they take home under the earth in cool areas where water-veins are found and where trees are found. Water and trees are natural wealth that are needed to be taken good care of. Bur these sources are dotted with the habitat for snakes. In the science of detecting water veins, Varahamihira lists out the snakes to be spotted at certain depths to ascertain the amount of water and the taste of water. When man harms these natural sources voluntarily or involuntarily or uses these natural sources for his benefit, the habitat of snakes also gets affected. This is primarily how the curse of snakes takes place.
Another way of looking at sarpa dosha is that if the earth is harmed by digging for whatever cause, it hurts Adisesha who is bearing the earth all the time.
Adhisesha is a personification of the force that keeps the earth as a stable one in a stable path around the sun. Any slightest disturbance caused to earth by scratching or digging is a harm caused to earth or Adhisesha. That is why any digging activity must be preceded by a pooja or propitiation to the earth. When not done so, it also attracts sarpa dosha.
The harm done in earlier births to serpents or the earth comes back as the curse of snakes.
This curse afflicts one's progeny, family life, health and riches.
Identification of sarpa dosha:-
In dealing with this subject, Prasna Marga gives some tips on how to identify the sarpa dosha in the horoscope and how to get rid of it.
Serpents are classified as Utthama (superior serpents) and adhama (inferior serpents).
The superior serpents are good ones and the inferior are bad ones.
- If in a horoscope, Jupiter becomes the lord of Dusthansas namely 6 or 8 or 12 and occupies one of them and if it happens to be quadrant (1,4,7 or 10) to Rahu, then it must be inferred that there is a curse of Superior serpents.
- If such a Jupiter is in quadrant to Gulika, then it is inferred that there is a curse of Inferior serpents.
- If Rahu occupies 6 or 8 or 12th house and gets connected to the Sun, then the trouble is from Superior serpents.
- If such a Rahu is associated with Moon, then the trouble is from Inferior serpents.
- If Rahu occupies a movable sign, the curse is due to the wanton destruction of serpent's eggs.
- If Rahu occupies a common sign, the curse is due to the killing of small serpents.
- If Rahu occupies a fixed sign, the curse is due to the felling of trees near the habitat of snakes.
- If Rahu conjoins Mandi or if Rahu is in the 5th, 7th or 9th from Mandi, then also sarpa dosha must be inferred.
- If Mars occupies a quadrant of Rahu, the curse is due to the destruction of trees or removing earth or killing serpents or leveling their habitat or setting fire to the trees near their habitat or ignoring to replant fresh trees or breaking the favorite anthills of serpents.
· Whatever be the house occupied by Rahu – Ketu, it is better to worship them and do sarpa-bali (pooja to them or offerings to them)
· If Rahu is in the 4th house in the horoscope, a gem called Chithra koota must be dedicated to the serpent god.
· If Rahu is in the 12th house, 'singing' must be arranged. This is a lost practice. In the Sangam Tamil text of Paripaadal, there comes description about how people used to arrange singing and dancing in the temples of serpents. Arranging music concerts in the temple snake is a way of propitiation.
· If Rahu is in lagna, milk and 'siddhapayasa' (milk and water) must be offered.
· If Rahu is in the 7th house, 'singing' must be arranged.
· If Rahu is in a fixed sign, eggs and small serpents made of gold and copper must be installed in the places of worship. Fresh trees must be planted near the snake temples (or abodes of snakes). Planting of peepal tree in snake temples also is good.
· If the ascendant is a movable sign, 11 images of eggs or small serpents made of gold or copper must be installed in temples of snakes.
· If the ascendant is a fixed sign, 9 images and if it is a common sign 7 images of eggs or small serpents made of gold or copper must be installed in temples of snakes.
· If Saturn and Gulika are in quadrant to Rahu, one must serve the serpent temple in the maintenance of the temple. The snake temple must be kept clean, unpolluted and low minded people (drunkards or unclean ones) must be kept away. Fresh trees must be planted in the vicinity and one must work towards keeping the temple well guarded and restore regular rites of purification.
· If Gulika alone is in quadrant to Rahu, it is also indicative of the need to serve a snake temple by keeping its environs free from dirt and pollution and prevent spitting or urination near the temple.
The remedies for sarpa dosha are thus simple but they make sense. The universal remedy for sarpa dosha is offer of milk to the anthill or ground where snake-god is installed. This is symbolic of purifying the Mother earth by the pure and the life-giving food, that is milk.
The message of sarpa dosha is that man must become aware of the harms he is doing to the earth and the environment. Every time one spits on the earth or makes the ground unclean or digs the earth – though for an inevitable reason - without offering apologies for so doing by way of thoughts connected with a Pooja, one is inviting the curse of snakes.
Abuse of earth and dumping waste on usable areas of earth and waterways also invite the wrath of Earth by manes of Sarpa dosha. Wherever one is born or in whatever faith one is born, the sarpa dosha caused by his action can be remedied only in the above ways. A pilgrimage to Indian temples or birth in Hindu Faith only will pave the way for shedding the baggage accumulated in daily life of abuse of earth in some way. Only the Hindu Faith paves way for the Final Emancipation by a plethora of paths and cancellation of both good and bad accumulated by one.