Thanks so much for your immense generosity in sharing such marvelous treasures! Did Sigung Ho achieve Enlightenment?
Sifu Angel G. Pérez Oliveras
The answers not only are beneficial to our instructors and students but also beneficial to me. They enabled me to crystallise my thoughts and present them in a coherent manner.
Without false modesty the answers are indeed marvellous. They reveal secrets that not only enhance our arts but also enrich our lives.
I believe my sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam did not attain Enlightenment when he left this world. It was not because he did not have the ability to attain Enlightenment but because he did not want to. He preferred to return to heaven to be the personal attendant of Guan Yin Bodh Satt, the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, as Golden Boy.
My sifu had a special mission to reincarnate as Ho Fatt Nam in our phenomenal world. Besides saving countless people and giving invaluable spiritual lessons, he helped us to preserve the legacy of the Shaolin arts.
Enlightenment, with a capital E as used here, means perfect Enlightenment, i.e. the perfect merging with the Great Void without any differentiation.
If we use enlightenment with a small e, as many people use the term, my sifu was highly enlightened. He had cosmic wisdom, and knew exactly where he came from and where he would return to.
The term enlightenment as used in English and other Western languages, like the Age of Enlightenment, has another meaning. This period was from about 1620 to 1780. Here, enlightenment means reasons or intellectualisation. This was a period where reasoning, intellectualisation and analysis were emphasised as opposed to traditional authority. Some famous philosophers who promoted the Age of Enlightenment were Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, John Locke, Voltaire and Immanuel Kant.
It is worthy of note that reasoning and intellectualization were required to attain Enlightenment in the Western sense, but in the Buddhist and Eastern sense there should not be any reasoning or intellectualization to attain Enlightenment. If reasoning or intellectualisation is present, aspirants remain in the phenomenal world, and will be thwarted from attaining Enlightenment.
Perhaps a major reason why so many Westernized people today, including modern people who live geographically in the East, have a lot of wandering thoughts, to the extent that they have become stressful, is the pervasive influence from the Age of Enlightenment. Hence, if you want to be at peace, to be free from unnecessary stress, you need to control your wandering thoughts. One excellent way is to enter into a Qigong state of mind, or to attain a Zen mind, which all instructors and students in our school, Shaolin Wahnam, can do very well.
The above discussion is reproduced from the thread Legacy of Ho Fatt Nam -- 10 Questions to Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit