Yamantaka is also known as "The Opponent of Death". According to Mullin and Weber (The Mystical Arts of Tibet, Atlanta, 1996, p. 110), meditation on Yamantaka "terrifies and chases away the three kinds of death: outer, inner and secret. The first is ordinary premature death caused by obstacles; inner death refers to the delusions and spiritual distortions, which kill happiness for self and others; and secret death refers to blockages in the subtle energy channels of the body, which produce an according mental distortion." H. V. Guenther, in Tibetan Buddhism without Mystification, Leiden, 1966 pp. 38-39, relates how Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelukpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism, described the iconography of Yamantaka: "[Nine] faces point to the ninefold classification of the scriptures; his two horns to the two truths [conventional and ultimate]; his thirty-four arms together with his spirituality, communication and embodiment in tangible form to the thirty-seven facts of enlightenment; his sixteen legs to sixteen kinds of no-thingness; the human being and the other mammals on which he stands to the eight attainments; the eagle and the other birds on which he tramples to the eight surpassing strengths; his nakedness to his being undefiled by emotional upsets or intellectual fogs...".
For a similar depiction of Yamantaka as Vajrabhairava, but on a double lotus pedestal, see P. Pal, The Sensuous Immortals, 1977, pp. 184-185.