Some scriptures contain the word kala sarpa. It is treated as an inauspicious thing.

What exactly is kala sarpa?

  • Are u talking abt the Kala Sarpa dosha of astrology?
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 5:30
  • No, just kala sarpa... Saw in some Purana slokhas... Will try to put such slokha... @Rickross
    – hanugm
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 6:01
  • kala sarpa is metaphorical. Which means serpant like time will bite you . Ultimately time spares no one.
    – user17439
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 7:33

1 Answer 1


Kāla-sarpa means Yamarāja or in general, in a poetic-sense - 'the devouring nature of Time'.

Kāla-sarpa literally translates as the 'serpent of time' or 'serpent of death'.

And Time, Death and its Lordship is most commonly associated with - Yamarāja.

One may ask references for the above assertion.

Chapter 138, Agni Purāṇa

यमोऽसि यमाराजोऽसि कालरूपोऽसि धर्मराट् ।

  1. You are Yama (god of death). You are the sovereign over the dead (Yamarāja). You are of the form of time. You are the reign of righteousness.

English Translation by N. Gangadharan

Two references for 'Kāla-sarpa' from the Skanda Purāṇa are:-

  • Reference 1:

Chapter 67 - Uttarārdha - Kāśī-khaṇḍa


शंखचूडेश्वरश्चैष शंखचूडप्रतिष्ठितः ।
यस्य संदर्शनात्पुंसां न भयं कालसर्पजम् ॥ ६९ ॥

  1. This is Śaṅkhacūḍeśvara installed by Śaṅkhacūḍa. The visit to this Lord removes the fear arising from Kālasarpa (Black Serpent, i.e. god of Death).

  • Reference 2:

Chapter 100 - Uttarārdha - Kāśī-khaṇḍa


निराशाः पितरस्तस्य तस्मिन्नेव दिनेऽभवन् ।
स दष्टः कालसर्पेण स दृष्टो मृत्युना स्फुटम् ॥ ३ ॥
स मुष्टस्तत्र दिवसे विश्वेशो यत्र नेक्षितः ।

  1. ... The Pitṛs become disappointed on the very same day. He is indeed bitten by the serpent of Kāla - Kāla-sarpa (death, time). He is seen by death to be sure....

English Translation by G.V. Tagare

So, Kāla-sarpa is an allusion to:

  • The Lord of Death: Yamarāja.


  • The general nature of Time (which devours everyone with its 'deadly fangs' of death).

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