When trying to explain in simple English the bodhisattva statues on the zendo altar here, I have always felt inadequate. I have a statue of Jizo and a statue of Kanzeon and a statue of Gautama Buddha and they all are meant to represent, in simple but meaningless English, "enlightened beings."
I get the same half-baked feeling when thinking about the Hindu triumvirate of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva -- the creator, preserver and destroyer. And I suppose, if I let my mind wander even further, the same dis-ease would exist with God, Jesus, Mohammad and whatever other bright-light deities came along.
Certainly there is enough written and said about "enlightened beings" so that religions and belief systems are nudged along and people who espouse those religions can imagine they are all speaking in plain English. They can encourage and support each other as they point out authentic texts or other evidence.
But I still get this feeling -- for myself -- that there is some aspect that is missing, some nail-it-to-the-wall completeness in simple English.
I guess it is just that each of these "enlightened being" formats cannot afford to be anything other than what human beings themselves are ... aspects of my ten fingers and ten toes. I just don't think it can make much sense any other way. And if this is so, then the only reasonable thing to do -- assuming you wanted to speak in clear, plain English -- would be to investigate those aspects of yourself that adorn one altar or another. I mean really investigate, not just sing another hymn or send up another round of hosannas.
In Sanskrit, I think it is, there is the suggestion, "Om Tat Sat" -- "Thou art That." But who in his or her right mind, his or her simple, straightforward mind -- would nest in that thicket of thorns? Investigation is not for sissies.