WORK IN PROGRESS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.
"That's the thing about faith... if you don't have it, you can't understand it and If you do, no explanation is necessary."-Colonel Kira Nerys of Bajor. (DS9: Accession)
"I've always found that when people try to convince others of their beliefs it's because they're really just trying to convince themselves."-Colonel Kira Nerys of Bajor. (DS9: Covenant)
Welcome seeker to the Way of the Prophets and to the religious home of our spiritual leader, the Kai. Please come and go in peace. From here one can learn a great many topics from The Prophets themselves to Cult of the Pah-wraiths, this library in the Kai's Monastery is meant to tell one all they could wish to know about the Bajoran religion. It is a rich and ancient tradition that is in everything Bajorans do. It is their strength in times of trouble, it helps to guide them, and draw them together as a people. Should our library be incomplete please notify maquisgoddess@g....com as soon as possible.
The Prophets are central to Bajoran religion, all else is built around them. They are non-corporeal extra-dimensional entities found only, thus far, in the Celestial Temple in the Bajoran System.
As one can see the Prophet above in its natural state looks very close to the Orbs they sent to communicate with Bajor, just something interesting to note.
The Prophets' origins remain unknown; however, they have identified themselves as being "of Bajor", Some scholars believe this means that they have always been there to guide Bajor as long as there was a Bajor. This would indicate that they are older then can known and perhaps even had a role in Bajor coming into existing. Maybe they were among the first in this plane of existence, the speculation is endless. Others feel that when Bajor was created the Prophets were created, and still others believe that the Prophets created Bajor from a part of themselves. This is a debate that continues in some scholar circles though for many their origins isn't as important as the fact of their existence.
In their natural state, the Prophets appear as blue translucent energy capable of swift movement throughout any environment. When communicating with visitors in their own domain, defined as a vision inside the mind of a sentient or the Celestial Temple or pretty much any setting that takes place in a similar energy plane of existence. The Prophets are able to take the appearance of someone familiar to them by probing the corporeal individual consciousness when speaking to them inside the mind. For instance, when first encountered in "person" by Starfleet Commander Benjamin Sisko in 2369, the Prophets appeared to take the form of people from his past and present – including his wife Jennifer Sisko, son Jake Sisko, Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his alter ego Locutus of Borg against whom Sisko had once fought, as well as the Vulcan Captain of the USS Saratoga on which Sisko had served, and Kai Opaka. They do this in order that the one to whom they wish to speak can better relate to them. After all, one can relate better to a former teacher, for example, then a strange being. Being translucent energy and highly telepathic, it is logistically easy for them to speak to and know the mind of those to whom they communicate. Though with them being on a different plane of normal existence it is not always easy to understand their will or for them to understand corporeal limits. Communication is less then easy sometimes.
In normal space, that is to say in the corporeal universe, the Prophets can only physically communicate with outsiders by possessing a body and using it as a vessel. The host is conscious of what is happening but has no control over its actions. One notable instance of this was when a Prophet and Pah-Wraith invaded the bodies of Col. Kira Nerys of Bajor and Jake Sisco, son of the Emissary; respectively. They were both aware but unable to affect the outcome. This was to be an epic battle of good verses evil. More on Pah-Wraith and this battle later in this document. Though for the most part they choose to communicate via orbs they sent to Bajor. More on the orbs and how they work in a later section. To add to the confusion when communicating, the Prophets have no sense of linear time, this could be due at least in part to their incorporeal nature. All that is, was, will be simply is. They live outside of the normal space-time continuum; however their existence has been recorded on Bajor for at least 30,000 years in linear time.
The Celestial Temple
Earlier communications had been discussed, a report on communication with the Prophets would not be complete without information on the Orbs of Bajor. Bajoran history has documented the discovery of nine orbs found in orbit of Bajor over the last 10,000 years; however, it has been suggested from recent archaeological finds that the Bajorans received their first orb at least 30,000 years ago. The orbs appear to the resemble hourglass energy fields but more solid and may produce intense metaphysical experiences to those who come in contact with them.
However, the orbs only react to a limited number of individuals and it continues to be a mystery as to what conditions must be met for a vision to be experienced. Some believe that the Prophets do not wish every Bajoran to be reliant on them for every decision and so only make themselves known to a chosen few for certain things. In all cases however it seemed to relate to Bajor's future or some personal enlightenment. In some cases lapsed visions have been known as a side-effect (in some instances even months later) This are known as Orb Shadows, more likely to be due to not learning from the vision then anything else. The ancient Bajorans who found the orbs named them based upon the kind of vision they induced, it seems that each orb is meant for a type of enlightenment or person. Many early encounters with them were recorded and, over time, became the basis of many ancient Bajoran prophesies. These were ultimately responsible for the founding of the Bajoran faith as it is known today, based upon the worship of the Prophets as their gods.
The orbs thus far have defied science as no objective analysis have been possible. Also note that while Bajor got many of their orbs back after the Occupation was over, it was through other agencies and not directly given to them by the Cardassians. The Cardassians took all they could find away for study during the Occupation, though their purpose continued to elude them. They did not seem detectable by current equipment nor did it seem to work for the Cardassians that held it.
Unlike the Prophets themselves, the Orbs are not purely energy fields, they do have a physical presence. Something actual a person could grasp. And not all orbs were complete in their hourglass forms. At some point in Bajoran history, a fragment of an unknown orb serves as the jewel in a bracelet. This bracelet was kept in Faren Kag's village on Bajor, where it was wielded by the Sirah. The Sirah is the Bajoran name for the leader and storyteller of the aforementioned village. The Sirah would use this bracelet to create a creature called the Dal'Rok, and focus the collective mental energy of the villagers to defeat it. The story goes that the first Sirah, seeing that the people of the village fought all the time, used the bracelet in the manner described above. Each year, the Dal'Rok would appear for five nights and threaten to destroy the village unless the people united. Whenever it appeared, the people believed the Sirah accomplished this by "telling the story" of how the village was stronger than the Dal'Rok, thus giving the impression that he controlled it when in fact the people themselves did so.
This would seem to confirm the telepathic nature of the Orbs. And that at least in this case the fragment was able to act as a focus and take the energy of the peoples very thoughts and make it a reality. And though it could be felt and experienced it was undetectable by tricorders as proven in the historical record of DS9 titled 'Storyteller'. There was wind and storm at one point but equipment could not detect it, however it was reality for not only the villagers but two visiting Starfleet Officers, Chief Miles O'Brian and Dr. Julian Bashier, who would have had no reason to believe in the stories told to them by the villagers. Yet they experienced the same thing as the life long believers, indicating it was a real presence. Though like much with the prophets, it continues to defy science.
During the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor all but one of the orbs was removed from Bajor by the Occupying forces. The one that remained was called the Orb of Prophecy, kept first by Kai Opaka then by Vedik Bareil. It was this orb that Kai Opaka consulted with and showed to the Emissary, Captain Benjamin Sisko when he arrived in the Bajoran System.
Important notes on this orb:
*It is this orb that relates most future visions.
*In 2370, Vedek Bareil consulted the Orb during the final days of the election for the next Kai.
*In 2373, Captain Sisko experienced a plasma burst leaving him with pagh'tem'far, or prophetic visions. In order to bring his visions into focus, he had an encounter with the Orb of Prophecy.
*In 2375, Kai Winn Adami attempted to consult the Orb of Prophecy, but it would not reveal anything to her. This is used by certain persons to support the idea that Kai Winn was a not a true Kai. More on that thought in the Pah-Wraith section.
Orb of Contemplation:
Most relating to meditation it was kept on DS9 after the Occupation. It was the orb used by the Pah-Wraith, in the form of a Cardassian called Dukat to strike a blow against the Prophets and the Bajoran People. After fatally wounded Lt. Jadiza Dax in 2374 the Pah-Wraith left Dukat's body and went into the orb, causing all orbs to go dark and the Celestial Temple to disappear, more in this event under the Pah-Wraith section. Bajorans across the galaxy were terrified that the Prophets had forsaken them. below is an example of a Dark Orb.
But the Prophets are nothing if not careful, they always have a back up. This back up took the form of:
The tenth orb that would restart them all months later. It was originally believed that only nine orbs existed. This tenth ended up buried in a desert on Tyree and it can only be opened by the Emissary. Captain Sisko went on a great quest to find this orb after The Sisko, as the Prophets called him, received a series of visions that allowed him to locate the orb in 2375 . Once he knew what he was looking for, he was attacked by a member of a Bajoran cult that believed that the Pah-wraiths were the true prophets. While attempting to retrieve it, Sisko was sent a vision by the Pah-Wraiths trying to trick him but he prevailed in the end. When the box containing the orb was opened, the Prophet that had previously inhabited Sarah Sisko's body was released from it. The Prophet returned to the wormhole, cast the Pah-wraith out, and restored the wormhole and the other orbs.
But these were not the only orbs, there were more. One of these was the Orb of Time. A most dangerous orb it could act as a time machine if that was the will of the Prophets.
In 2373, the Detapa Council, the ruling council of the Cardassian Union, returned the Orb to the Bajoran people. By way of the USS Defiant. During its return trop, the Defiant was transported 105 years into the past by Arne Darvin, who sought to change the future of his younger self by assassinating James T. Kirk. Although there were some minor alterations to the timeline as a result, Kira Nerys was able to use the Orb to return the Defiant to its proper place in space-time.
Once the Orb returned to Bajor, it was kept at the Temple of Iponu. In 2374, Kira used the Orb of Time to travel back to 2346, to investigate the nature of the relationship between her mother, Kira Meru, and Gul Dukat. Once she learned what she needed to know, the Orb brought her back to the present. As one can see in both cases good came of the trips, they stopped much possible destruction the first time and the second was a way to help one of Bajora learn more deeply essential truths.
Orb of Time
But it isn't just Bajorans and the Emissary who benefited from the Wisdom of the Prophets. One of the largest examples of a non-Bajoran being affected by an Orb is when in 2371, it was being held on Cardassia III. That was where Grand Nagus Zek 'acquired' it. He later took it into the wormhole to contact the Prophets, hoping that their ability to exist out of space-time would enable him to make substantial profit. As one can see the narrow focus was a bit misleading. After all if he had bothered to value anything but monetary gain he would of known that the Wormhole Aliens/Prophets were not going to help him in this goal. As it was the Prophets found this to be confusing and somehow changed Zek's attitude to that of the Ferengi of thousands of years ago. At this time they were less profit driven and Zek did things like want to give the Orb back to the Bajorans for Free. This did not go over well with other Ferengi but this helps explain the sudden change in Fergeni culture and policies after this date. Though he was restored to his older self by the Prophets, Quark managed to convince them it was a good idea, the door was open to a new type of Ferengi or should it be said an old type.
The others are not as well known but they are:
1.The Orb of Memory
2.The Orb of Destiny
3.The Orb of Truth
4.The Orb of Souls
5.The Orb of Unity
The ones not listed are no less important, it is simply that the ones above were of special note during the events relating to the Emissary and therefore of special interest to Bajoran religion scholars. Though some students of the orbs feel that the fragment in the Sirah Bracelet is somehow connected to the the Orbs of Memory, Souls, or Unity. Perhaps it had broken off, who knows. While others feel it is part of an orb all it's own. It is a great debate that is waged in circles of Bajoran religious academia. Still the Prophets did try different ways to communicate with the Bajorans. Another method was via prophecy, though that too had its difficulties.
Bajoran Religion Organization and Temples
Bajoran Holiday Calendar
The Emissary and Other Notables of Recent Bajoran Religious History
The Pah-Wraith and their history with Bajor
To see the source material for this and other pages of the Bajoran Cultural Center, please check out, Bajoran Central Archives For this part it would be under Bajoran Religion References.