Thursday, March 20, 2014

How to Use the Daruma Doll

Most temples in Japan have this thing called DARUMA. (see picture below)

The Daruma doll
When I first saw it, I seriously thought it was a toy doll. And I thought too how adult-looking this doll is. I wonder what kid would want it for a toy. It's not cute nor pleasant. 

Turns out, Daruma is not a kid's toy. It's actually a figurine of a Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma. He's the founder of Zen Buddhism. Bodhidhrama spent his life sitting down and meditating to achieve Zen. Because he just sat most of his life, his legs and arms weakened. Thus, daruma dolls look like babies wrapped in swads of clothes. 

The Japanese use the daruma dolls to make wishes. Politicians would buy big daruma dolls when they're running for office to win. Parents pray to this doll for they kids' future and education. Students use this for good luck before taking exams. The daruma doll is like a lucky charm. I haven't used a daruma doll yet. I'm actually scared of it's face. It looks fierce and not at all encouraging. (I'm not a Buddhist and not a Japanese so I guess, it doesn't matter.)

Daruma doll overload!

There's a special way in using this doll. Here's how: 

1. Pray to the doll or make a wish then rub one of its eyes until it fades. 

2. When you're wish is granted, thank the doll by rubbing the other eye. 

A "Blinded' daruma doll
In short, you'll be taking off the eyes of the daruma doll. Hence, when you see a blind daruma doll, it means that someone's wish was granted. 

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