Why doesn’t Dharma have any limbs?
Long, long ago, a great monk from India named Saint Dharma introduced Buddhism to China.
Wanting to keep the people happy, he meditated for a period of 9 years and due to his inactivity he lost all of his limbs. Dharma dolls are usually sold without eyes because the purchaser is to paint one eye on at the time of prayer for good luck and when that prayer is answered, they are to paint on the other eye.
The Dharma doll also has a weighted bottom so that if he is tipped over, he will always return to an upright position symbolizing good fortune and the fact that he will never let himself down.
The Dharma doll is commonly purchased for the New Year and is considered a symbol of protection for families.