Question: During the Buddha’s time, there are many who become Arhats and Bodhisattvas. Today, we do not hear of anyone becoming enlightened. If they are around, yet not revealing themselves, how do we know who they are, for learning from them?
Answer: We do not hear of any becoming enlightened these days because we are in the Dharma-Ending Age, a period far from our fundamental teacher Sakyamuni Buddha’s time, which also means those reborn in this era are definitely not those with lots of positive karma, who would be born in his time, also having strong spiritual capacity to be enlightened quickly with the aid of a few instructions.
This is the period when the general quality of the Dharma being taught, learnt, practised and realised by and for the average person declines with general rise in spiritual defilements. This is why the beings in our time should pay extra attention on the Pure Land teachings, so as to reach Pure Land, where swift spiritual progress to Buddhahood is possible. If not, return to this world to strive for enlightenment for the average person is going to prove increasingly challenging – with more distractions that spur more defilements.
Any true Arhats, Bodhisattvas and Buddhas manifesting among us will NOT reveal their identities due to the clear instructions by Sakyamuni Buddha stated in this article: http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2014/02/are-there-mediums-manifestations-of-buddhas-bodhisattvas-around Sakyamuni Buddha also taught that pure Dharma practice and teachings should be used to attract students, instead of unsubstantiated claims of being enlightened or having special power, which anyone can make. Please see the related articles listed at the end of the main article too, on why this is very important.