Buddhas effortlessly manifest infinite different forms to benefit sentient beings. Even though each form has exactly the same enlightened essence, in order to communicate with sentient beings in different ways, some forms appear as deities who are the manifestation of specific enlightened qualities. For example, Avalokiteshvara is the manifestation of compassion, Manjushri is the manifestation of wisdom, and Green Tara is the manifestation of the removal of obstacles and fear.
There is no other way to reach enlightenment than by recognizing buddha nature and attaining stability in it. Buddhas of the past did that, and the present-day practitioners who will be the buddhas of the future will do so by recognizing their own nature and attaining stability in it. There is no other way. Nobody else can accomplish enlightenment for us or pull us into liberation. It is completely up to ourselves.
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
Turning us back from the road to the lower planes of existence,
It shows us the road to the higher planes of existence,
And leads to where there is no old age and death
To this bodhicitta, in homage I bow.
I bow to those who have given birth
To this most precious and sacred of minds,
Who bring bliss to even those who cause them harm.
In such sources of happiness, I take refuge.
The Buddha has manifested in our world; he has turned the wheel of the teachings and these teachings have survived until now. You have received them from an authentic teacher and are ready to put them into practise. Rather than frittering your life away in futile pursuits, should you not marvel at your good fortune and concentrate all your efforts on doing just that, without losing so much as an instant?
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche