You can imagine your mind as being like a sky through which clouds pass. The clouds come and they go, but the sky remains untouched. The sky is inherently blue and clear, and although its blueness and clarity can be obscured it can never be destroyed. The clouds are like the greed, hatred, and delusion that pollute the mind. Because of the transient nature of these mental states, they cannot be said to be an inherent part of the mind. They may obscure the mind’s inherent awareness and compassion, but those qualities are never absent.
Vajrasattva sits above the Mandala of the Five Buddhas, which includes Akshobya, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha, Amoghasiddhi, and Vairocana. In some traditions he’s regarded as being the ādi-buddha, or the primordial Buddha from whom all other Buddhas emanate. If Vajrasattva is seen as being the mind’s innate purity, then his primordiality and his being the origin of the other Buddhas makes sense — all manifestations of Awakening are nothing more than a revealing of the mind’s innate awareness and compassion.
The most distinctive symbols associated with Vajrasattva are his bell and vajra (or thunderbolt). The bell represents wisdom, and the vajra represents the Bodhisattva’s upaya, or his skill in liberating beings by means of compassion.
Vajrasattva is generally white in color, representing his purity. He is dressed in the Bodhisattva robes of a prince, adorned with jewels, and with long flowing hair. He is eternally young, existing outside of time and space.