relying on Guru Rinpoche is nothing but a skillful means for realizing and empowering ourselves with the phenomena of our own pure, joyful, and powerful perceptions and experiences, which arise from our own peaceful and open Buddha nature that we all have inherited. If we believe, then Guru Rinpoche will always be with us. He is not an individual person of a particular time or place. He is (or represents) the Buddha, the Buddha nature and its expression. In other words, he is the true nature of the universe and the pure character or expression of that universe. Whenever we allow our mind to connect with our inner truth, that truth will always be there to be reached, and then the manifestations or expressions arisen from that truth will always arise as pure and divine manifestations or appearances. If we let ourselves be inspired and see that very ultimate peace and truth, which we all have, through the support of and/or as Guru Rinpoche, we will realize and become Guru Rinpoche and his qualities and expressions.
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche wrote:
In the case of deity meditation, it is the mind consciousness that creates the body of the deity. It is thus a mentally created body, and thus, so to speak, unreal. When, however, the karmic imprints of this visualization get stored in the all-base and become more clear and more stable, it is actually possible to meet the deity one day, or Guru Rinpoche, for example, face to face! This is the result of deity meditation with in-front visualization. [From Everyday Consciousness and Primordial Awareness, p. 39]
Kunga Rinpoche, wrote in "Drinking the Mountain Stream": The deities of the tantric vehicle's extensive pantheon, the male and female personifications of psychic processes as "herukas" and "dakinis", are **"produced" by the yogin through the practice of controlled visualization until their reality overshadows that of the superficial apparent world.**When the yogin is able to visualize his own personal deity to the point where the visualization seems to have a life of its own, and when he's able to see the his environment as divine, he then practices the "divine pride" of direct identification of his own body and mind with those of his personal deity.
all these quotations from masters indicate that dakinis,herukas and even guru rinpoche are not existant in the sence of having a mindstream and cognition and actually existing in some heaven.Rather they are appearances or creations of the individual's(Yogi or yidam practicioner) mind.
but obviousely there are purelands as many people have visions of amitabha etc picking them up to go there etc Dawa Drolma had visitation to the pureland of avalokiteshvara guided by Tara.are these then just appearances of her own mind?like Nimittas?