When we have obstacles or problems, we look to Dharma Protectors for help. In Buddhism we seek refuge only in the Buddhas.
Therefore, the Dharma Protectors we propitiate are emanations of enlightened Buddhas and not samsaric gods. They assume lowly wrathful and horrific forms in order to have a stronger connection to aid us quicker in times of distress.
Most of us normal people have little karma to receive help quickly from the Buddhas directly. Contrary to what you may think, it is not that they are beyond reach. It is our karma, spiritual and mental disposition that prevents us from receiving help from the Buddhas. Thus, out of compassion they assume the forms of Dharma Protectors to come to our aid.
Protector practice is widespread in ancient Buddhist India and has been passed to Tibet. Protector practice includes the offering of “golden drink” that requires the Serkym set.
The offering is usually tea, milk or even alcohol. These are poured gradually during the offering puja onto the taller cup till it overflows to the lower bowl below.
Offering of piping hot black tea is a strong signal to the Dharma Protector to come to our aid fast, according to Tsawa Phultok Rinpoche in Nepal.