'Yidam (Tib., Skt. deva: One of the Three Roots; source of enlightened qualities.'
-- Quoted from 'Fearless Death' book by Lama Ole Nydahl.
Blog author's comments.
Yidam is also a form of energy & light.
Certain people prefer to visualize Yidams, instead of Buddhas during meditation, because they won't trust meditating on Buddha in a human body as a perfect being - fearing addiction to a living person, of mental enslavement as well.
A meditation on Yidam answers their needs, because to them visualizing abstract forms of energy and light, awakening enlightened qualities in oneself through the Yidam practice is not the same as a meditation on Buddha in a human conditioned body.
i heard from a Buddhist Teacher that meditation on Buddha Karmapa, or on Yidam is the same; at first i preferred to meditate on Yidam, now i prefer to meditate on Buddha Karmapa - but can use either method as is skillful.
i think that Yidam practice is more suited for critical people - Buddhism welcomes strict, critical minds gladly, i think.
i think meditation on Buddha is more suited for grateful and trusting students.
i think that the danger of addiction to the teacher, of losing independence is easily averted by 'paying the karmic debt' - as one helps and does meritorous, good deeds for the Teacher, one regains freedoms and can continue with practices - more lessons can occur, more blessings can flow.
i read & think that Buddhism leads to Liberation & Enlightenment, to True Freedom - even if during parts of the way we are dependent on teachers, even when we have to work to pay the karmic debts.