Questioner: Namaskaram Sadhguru. What are the causes of Sarpa Dosha?
Sadhguru: This is a strange country. But, there are people who are seriously affected by what is called as “sarpa dosha”. Knowing this – when you say sarpa dosha, usually it affects the skin. Today, modern medicine dismisses it as rubbish, superstitious. But we can get you certain cases of skin ailment, do what you want, you cannot diagnose what it is. For sure, you cannot cure with your medicine, whatever kind of medicine you give. And it’s not very rare, it’s quite on in many ways.
So, there are certain other aspects in nature which affects one’s health and well-being. There is – in our body, the five elements, on a subtler level have manifested themselves as pancha pranas, or the five forms of basic energy in the system. One aspect of it is very directly and closely related to what we refer to as snake.
To understand this, we have to see it this way. It is only in your mind that you think you are a separate piece of life. As far as this planet is concerned, you, the insect, the worm, the snake, the elephant, the buffalo and the tree and everything is same. It just throws itself out in many different ways, and sucks it back. You have ideas about yourself. Similarly, ant has ideas about itself. But as far as the earth is concerned, it bursts out in the form of various types of lives, and sucks it back when it’s time.
All your ideas, no matter what kind of ideas you have about yourself, when the Mother Earth decides to suck you back, where do your ideas go? You could have written a book, somebody else reads it and gets confused. But all of them, all kinds, have been sucked back, isn’t it? Every kind. As far as the earth is concerned, you, the worm, the insect, the snake, the bird, the tree, it’s all the same stuff. The idea that “I am this” is your idea. Doesn’t matter who you are, it’ll suck you back and knead you as a part of itself. Nobody has gone anywhere else except here, isn’t it?
So, the energy is the same. The material is the same. You and the snake, you and the insect, are made the same way. So nobody can claim that you are something, distinct life. It is not distinct life, it is… even according to science, you can see, all of us are made of carbon as far as… Hmm? Are you made of silicon? No. Carbon. So, it is all the same stuff, made the same way. From a single cell in a leaf, in a plant, to yours, it’s not very different, it is just evolution. Little different grade, that’s all. Same stuff.
[When your] vyana prana, behaves in a certain way, your skin becomes like that of a reptile
So, because of certain reasons, it so happens that your vyana, vyana vayu, or the vyana prana, behaves in a certain way, so your skin becomes like that of a reptile. So, when that happens we say, “You have naga dosha.” So there are various ways to get rid of this. You know, in India there are people that if you have a snake bite, just by uttering a mantra, they will relieve you of your poison. Do you know this? Long distance. You’ve heard of this man who became very famous, from Anekal in Karnataka? Hmm? A station master. All you have to do is call him on the phone, and tell him your name, and what snake bit you. From where he is, he will relieve your venom, poison. It is a proven fact, it’s no more a joke. And this is not the first one, there have been any number of people like this.
So, one way of understanding life is, the chemistry of it. Another way of understanding life, the much subtler way of knowing life, is the energy of it. So when we say “sarpa dosha,” we are talking about the energy, it’s become like that of a reptile. Do you know, in your brain, there’s a reptilian brain? You have – about this size of your brain, is that of a reptile. Within your brain, there is a brain which is about the size of a, something like a crocodile’s brain. All this is not human brain. There’s a reptilian brain inside. So, that reptile can manifest itself, because your energies begin to function in a certain way, and that can be relieved by doing certain things.
Why in the Bhairavi Temple we set up Sarpa Seva, and the Sarpa Seva is done with the termite hill earth. You know this? We are using the termite hill earth, that is the … what do you call it? Puthu mannu. So with that, people are doing the Sarpa Seva. So, it can be relieved with a simple shift in your energy.
So, is it because some snake cursed you? See, that is just a dialectical way of looking at it. Is it a superstition that a snake cursed you? That’s not the point. It is just a certain way of expression. Now I’m talking the language of modern science in a different way. Now I’m talking about this energy changing in a certain way, your reptilian brain, and all this. In a way, it’s a curse from the snake. When you get it, it’s a curse, isn’t it? When you have it, it is very much a curse, isn’t it?
So this is just a dialectical expression. It is not that some snake is sitting somewhere and cursing you, but there is an element of you which is very much a reptile. There is an element of you which is very much a fish. There’s an element of you which is very much an animal. And, they can play up. Nobody can deny, even modern science cannot deny, that all these animals exist within you in some dormant form, isn’t it? The evolutionary process is very much present in the body, and they can come alive for various reasons.
It is a curse from the snake. Curse from the snake does not mean there is a snake sitting outside and cursing you. There is a snake sitting inside and cursing you. And that can be dealt with in a certain way, because it is quite a common problem. That’s the reason why we set up the Sarpa Seva for people.
We built temples – Southernmost town in Tamil Nadu, in Nagercoil. And there’s another one, Sarpa… what is this, in Kerala, there’s a famous temple? Hmm? Mannarasala, Mannarasala, that’s a very famous snake temple. So, everywhere they set up these things so that people could work it out.
And, in the process of evolution, reptile is a very significant aspect. And, in the evolution of the being, snake is a very important step. And because of that – that’s the reason why in India, if you happen to kill a snake, you give it a funeral, you know? People actually give it a funeral, you know? Yes, they put a coin, and milk, ghee, whatever. Whatever you do for the people, a human being, you do that. Because it is closely related to you on one level. Well, modern expression is “you have a reptilian brain.” The yogic expression is, in the evolution of the being, snake is an important step. So, you have to keep it in a certain way, otherwise it’ll come alive within you.