There haven’t been many Senjutsu users in Naruto. Well, part of the reason is that it is very difficult to use it. Regardless, one thing that has always eluded the fans is why didn’t Orochimaru teach Sasuke the basics of Senjutsu. Could Orochimaru use sage mode as well? Read on as we answer.
First off, understand the prerequisites of using sage chakra :
Extreme chakra levels.
Extreme vitality – that is, one must be powerful enough to support the combined power of natural energy and his own chakra.
The third and the most important one is that one must learnto control natural energy as gaining natural energy beyond one’s capacity might turn them into a stone. It is basically a finesse that one hones with training.
See how Naruto almost turned into stone and Fukasaku explains the rest.
The thing is that Orochimaru was skilled enough but he just didn’t have enough chakra reserves. The sage mode users that we know of (barring some exceptions) :
They were all gifted with extraordinary vitality and chakra, thus enabling them to perform sage techniques, Orochimaru wasn’t gifted with those powerful chakra reserves. This is not to say that Kabuto and Orochimaru did not resort to other means :
Orochimaru developed another way around, he used cursed seals. It basically contained an enzyme from Jugo and that helped him with the sage chakra but it has different side effects. You see, he was a genius in experimentation after all.
Kabuto too used Jugo’s DNA in some way.
So basically Orochimaru had the finesse but not the chakra reserves. So he could have tried teaching Sasuke if he wanted to.
So why is that he never taught Sasuke? Well, because :
Sage technique is extremely difficult to master, it takes remarkable patience and persistence, thus it takes a lot of time to learn. Do not be fooled by how quickly Naruto learned it, think of how much time Jiraiya took and he still couldn’t perform it well. So it is a lot of time investment.
One can learn whichever technique he wishes to, but proceeding in battles, one should use the technique he is most comfortable with. Have you ever seen Kakashi using Rasengan in battle? Obviously being an Uchiha, his forte was Sharingan. Thus, during his time training with Orochimaru, stress was on his lightning usage and honing his Sharingan.
He spent (appropriately) more time learning things that he was already good at, developing jutsus compliant with his chakra nature (see image, his lightning dragon).
The most consequential motive of Orochimaru’s was, one should not forget, to take Sasuke’s body, and use it to defeat Itachi. Orochimaru knew how to use sage mode, he just needed a body capable enough. Why must he make the task of taking over his body a difficult one? We must not forget his motives.
He admits his motives here, and countless other times thereafter. He was after an Uchiha body of extreme vitality like that if Sasuke or Itachi.
Cursed seals – The cursed seals actually bore remarkable utility and Sasuke had that. It was basically Orochimaru’s way of granting his minions a power-up. Sage technique was useful and powerful, but not as instantaneous as a curse mark.
Sasuke’s Curse mark
For all these reasons he must not have deemed it worthwhile to teach Sasuke his sage mode.
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