Basically I think of yidams as methods or tools or whatever, but this passage seems to imply that there is an actual Vajrasattva somewhere who is going to do something for us, as the next sentence confirms:
Someone who approaches him through the practice of Vajrasattva's body, speech, and mind does receive
the blessings for removing karmic, emotional, and cognitive obscurations and for realizing the vajra body, the vajra speech, and the vajra mind.
I guess what I'm trying to ask is if that idea is really the Vajrayana POV. I personally don't have any problem with it, although I would want to ask how the existence of such a Vajrasattva was established and so on.
Many excellent posts.
My 2 cents.
Yes, no, maybe, can't say, it doesn't matter, and a singular truth.
The long and short of it - after two VS nundros (long and short).
Of course VS exists
. and if you practice him (single or yab/yum), you will get benefits as described in the quotation, by a living Dzogchen Master, Ven. Tsoknyi Rinpoche.
Of course VS does not exist
. Perhaps there is no place in the universe where a physical VS exists, at least we have no proof of his physical existence (though you may be able to go visit him in a non-physical dimension).
So really, you can't say
if he exists or does not exist.
VS exists as a "reified" creative visualization, perhaps first as a "promise" diety / concept and then as a "wisdom deity" concept / reification, that can have the physical effect of purifying your mind stream (body, speech and mind) as you do the purification practice or become the deity.
So maybe it really doesn't matter
if VS exists, or does not exist, if you imagine that he does, and do the practice and get the benefit.
And then, as Heart wisely points out,
"Vajrasattva exist in the same way as the lamas (Guru Rinpoche and Vimalamitra) deities and protectors that many famous tertons interact with. You can read about it in Dudljom Lingpa's Nanjang or Namthar and ChNNR Longsal teachings. Deities and protectors are not only methods, they are actual enlightened Buddhas."
Now you understand the singular truth