[From Trijang Rinpoche, root Guru of the Dalai Lama and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso:]
There has never been a worldly or a supra-mundane Dharma protector who was truly existent as such from its own side. Furthermore, even those who appear to be enemies who are harming oneself, for someone who is meditating on the spiritual path at the common stage of great scope, they appear as one’s own extremely cherished dear child; and at the uncommon first stage, they appear through the force of meditation as gods and goddesses. When the special bliss of completion stage is generated in the mind, they appear in mandalas throughout space in wisdom forms and pure lands. Gradually, when one attains the supreme great bliss, they appear in no form other than that of the great Sambogakaya of Akanishta Pure Land because their appearance as enemies and the conception of them as enemies has been severed. For example, just as enemies we don’t even want to see or hear about can later become friends with whom we are inseparable, all are projections of nothing but our own mind. As Venerable Milarepa said:
This realization that what appears is aspects of mind;
When not realized, that is the ignorance
That is the basis of all karma and delusion.
If realized, it is one’s own transcendent awareness
And all positive qualities increase.
That’s how it is. Likewise, in regard to this very Dharma protector, Emanated Gyalchen Dorje Shugden, in Expression of the Names of Manjusri, it says:
Glorious illuminator of all forms!
Holder of all reflections!
Thus, although he can appear in any mundane or supra-mundane form whatsoever depending upon whether our mind is pure or impure, in actuality he is Venerable Manjusri of non-dual wisdom mandala that is the appearance of purified aggregates, elements, and sources of consciousness, showing himself as a miraculously powerful worldly protector.
…As said, because the Buddhas, who have accomplished the welfare of themselves and others, are fully skilled in the means for subduing disciples by way of many and various inconceivable emanations, they sometimes display faults that they do not actually have. They might appear in a lustful form in order to subdue someone with desire, hateful form in order to subdue someone with hate, or ignorant form in order to subdue someone with ignorance. Moreover, they even display the forms of birds, deer, maras, rakshas, the blind or maimed. It is as said in the Meeting of Father and Son Sutra:
Appearing in the guise of Indra or Brahma,
Or sometimes clothed as Maras,
They act for the sake of sentient beings
Though worldly beings are unaware of it.
Some act and dress as women.
There are emanations, as well, in the animal realm.
Acting desirous although they are not,
Showing fear although unafraid,
Acting ignorant, insane, or crippled,
While in fact they are none of these,
In various emanations,
They subdue sentient beings.
(Trijang Rinpoche, Music Delighting the Ocean of Protectors, pp. 6-7, 10, circa 1967)