Oma is focused on helping other beings ascend to the higher plane on which the Ancients now live. In doing so, she has become an outcast by the Others. She, and those who follow her, walk a fine line between going against the wishes of the other Ancients by interfering with other races, and maintaining their rules enough so that she does not bring down their wrath. However, she is only able to open the door for them, as she can guide individuals to the path, knowing it is they, and they alone, who can make the decision of whether or not to travel the great path, helping those aware of it to master the secret of Ascension without doing it all for themselves. She acts mostly on the planet Kheb, on which some sort of Buddhist-style temple is located, in which the people learn about ascension. Oma Desala once made a great mistake when she helped the fallen System Lord Anubis to ascend. Anubis had discovered Ancient information about ascension and thus was able to pass all of Oma's tests. When his true nature was revealed, the others decided not to completely de-ascend him (causing Anubis to gain a big advantage over the other Goa'uld) in order to punish Oma for her constant rule breaking, forcing her to watch how he brought terror upon the galaxy, even if they also bound Anubis so that he could not use any knowledge or power he would have possessed as an Ascended being, restricted to what he would have been capable of as a normal Goa'uld. (SG1: "Maternal Instinct", "Meridian", "Full Circle", "Threads")
It is initially unclear whether Oma was one of the Ancients, as Orlin had not heard of her. However, he also stated that he most likely didn't know her because of her actions, and thus being as banished as himself. The Ancient Merlin, however, had known Oma when he was ascended, and told Jackson that she had been helping people ascend for over 1000 years. He also said that she focused more on the individual, possessing intentions that could be considered similar to the original motives of the Ori, but did not elaborate further. (SG1: "Ascension", "The Quest, Part 2")
When Oma was first met in a Buddhist-style temple, the caretaker of the temple referred to her as the Mother. The name Oma is reminiscent of two Tibetan words. The first, uma, is one of the core concepts of Buddhism that refers to the "Middle Way". The second word, ama, means "mother" in Tibetan.
Oma Desala was first encountered by Stargate Command when SG-1 came to the planet Kheb in their search for Shifu, the young son of Apophis and Sha're. During their stay, the team discovered a Buddhist-style temple, where a single monk appeared to reside. The monk spoke in riddles, but spoke about a being called Oma Desala, a name Dr. Daniel Jackson translated as "Mother Nature". Also, the monk taught Daniel to use his mind in order to, among other things, manipulate fire.
However, when several Jaffa arrived on the planet, also searching for Shifu, SG-1 was forced to set up a defense at the temple. While SG-1 prepared to fight off the Goa'uld attack team, Daniel discovered that it was not his own mind that performed these amazing feats, but Oma Desala, a non-corporal being living on Kheb. With this knowledge he decides to leave Shifu in Oma's care, who in return neutralized the remaining Jaffa. (SG1: "Maternal Instinct")
Shifu appeared again one year later, now aged to the state of a young boy. He revealed to Jackson through an elaborate dream that Oma Desala had taught him how to suppress the evil Goaul'd genetic memory he possessed. Eventually, Shifu was able to ascend himself, also with the help of Oma. (SG1: "Absolute Power")
A year later, after Dr. Daniel Jackson became poisoned by Naquadria radiation while preventing a cataclysmic accident on the planet Langara, Oma Desala appeared in a series of visions to Jackson while he lay on his death bed. Oma told him that although she could not heal him, she could help him to ascend. Although Jackson at first had to struggle with his own inadequacy, he was finally able to ascend with Oma Desala's help. (SG1: "Meridian")
One year later, while the ascended Dr. Daniel Jackson was helping his former team members to prevent Anubis from obtaining the Eye of Ra (a devastating weapon hidden on Abydos), Oma Desala watched while Jackson interacted with the mortal world. She helped Skaara and several other Abydonians who were killed during Anubis and SG-1's battle over the Eye to ascend. She later intervened when Daniel was about to use his ascended powers against Anubis to save the people of Abydos, and prevented him from doing so. Instead, when Anubis destroyed the planet below, she helped the entire population to ascend. (SG1: "Full Circle")
Frustrated that he was constantly forced to watch the goings-on of the galaxy from the sidelines, unable to affect any real change as an ascended, Daniel chose to give up his ascended status and retake human form. Oma was forced to take away his memories as a stipulation of returning to a lower plane of existence. Jackson was sent to the planet Vis Uban, where he was later discovered by his former teammates, regaining his memories of his human life but displaying only a few brief flashes of his time as an Ascended being. (SG1: "Fallen")
Oma Desala appeared one final time to Dr. Daniel Jackson almost two years later. After Jackson had been abducted and killed by Replicator Carter, who had attempted to extract the Ancient knowledge still buried in his subconscious mind, Oma brought him to the Astral Diner, an intermediate level between ascension and mortal existence, where she again attempted to persuade him to ascend. During his brief stay, Jackson learned about the connection between Oma and Anubis, and how he had once tricked her into partially ascending him, but did not blame Oma for her mistake, instead berating the Others for condemning the entire galaxy to suffer at Anubis's hands just to teach Oma a lesson.
Still feeling guilty about the catastrophic mistake she once had made, and inspired by Daniel's attempt to stop Anubis despite his lack of power after Anubis appeared in the diner to taunt Daniel and Oma before beginning his plan, Oma engages Anubis in an eternal struggle; if she tried to kill him while he was in a lower form, the others would just stop her, but by completing his Ascension and then engaging him in combat, the two would be condemned to fight forever, Anubis unable to stop fighting Oma as she would use that opportunity to destroy him. Because the half-ascended Goa'uld was in the process of using the Dakara superweapon to eliminate all life in the Milky Way, her benevolence and self-sacrifice saved the entire galaxy. (SG1: "Threads")
Oma Desala is well known for her subtle, spiritual and very cryptic quotes.
- "The success or failure of your deeds, does not add up to the sum of your life. Your spirit cannot be weighed. Judge yourself by the intentions of your actions, and by the strength with which you faced the challenges that have stood in your way. The Universe is vast and we are so small. There is really only one thing we can ever truly control... whether we are good or evil."
- ―Oma Desala - (SG1: "Meridian")
- In an alternate reality, Oma Desala likewise defeated Anubis with the assistance of Daniel Jackson in 2005. (SG1: "Ripple Effect")
- Though heavily implied, it is never actually stated that Oma is an Ancient. While on the Astral Diner, she admits that not all of the Others present are Ancients, which means there are Ascended Beings belonging to other races. Oma Desala could be part of one of these other races; however, since all evidence seems to prove otherwise, she is listed in this article as an Ancient.
- Although Mel Harris is credited as appearing as Oma in Reckoning, Part 1, she is in fact playing Replicator Carter posing as Oma.
- GateWorld's article on
- Stargate SG-1 Solutions' article on
- The mythological Oma Desala on Wikipedia
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