Enlightenment is the goal of Buddhism but most of us do not have any clue about it. Furthermore, it is not helpful that many Buddhist pray to Buddha and our experience with Buddha involves some form of ritualistic interactions with a Buddha statue or painting.
For many of us, Buddha is just like another mystical or divine being sitting in the sky? When we say our refuge prayer, we imagine there will be divine protection bestowed upon us for behaving like lambs flocking to their shepherd?
Therefore, it is inevitable that Enlightenment is interpreted as “becoming God-like” for some Buddhist. Some confuses supernatural ability as indication for Enlightenment. One must have a halo around the head, be capable of floating in the air or at the very least be an adept in mind-reading to be considered Enlightened.
What exactly happened after ENLIGHTENMENT?
Thus I have heard. At one time the Buddha was stayingDiamond Sutrahttp://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/prajparagen2.pdf
in the Jeta Grove of the Garden of the Benefactor of
Orphans and the Solitary together with a gathering of
great bhikùus, twelve hundred fifty in all.
At that time, at meal time, the World Honored One
put on his robe, took up his bowl, and entered the great
city of øràvastã to beg for food. After he had finished his
sequential begging within the city, he returned, ate the
food, put away his robe and bowl, washed his feet, arranged his seat, and sat down.
The above is a good start to answer the question. We all know that Buddha is enlightened and guess what?
He needed to get dress, find food, do house chores and sit down. (Not float on a lotus flower in mid air!)
Most people would recite the sutra and not pick this up. But after reciting it numerous time in front of the holy Buddha statue, surely we would realise that the founder of our religion lived live us after enlightenment!
So beyond the imaginary god like property we love to project upon Buddha, what exactly is enlightenment all about?
I live it here for all to take a moment to ponder…
May all be well and happy.