Enlightenment is Science and Art both, but it is more Art. Being Science it needs to be understood and being Art it needs to be mastered.
This is like Swimming. The science of Swimming is to be understood first but later it must be practiced and mastered only then it would avail, it would be used to cross the river and to reach other shore. Likewise, Enlightenment is like an art of swimming, which needs to be practiced and mastered to cross the ocean of Samsara. Imperfect enlightenment can’t take to other shore.
Some philosophers believe that when Enlightenment takes place then that remains forever and need not to maintain it, but this is erroneous view of philosopher. The happening of Enlightenment only is not enough, it is very fragile, very delicate and need more care, nurture, awareness, efforts to maintain it, once it becomes one’s habit, innate nature, and then needs not more awareness, but in the beginning it needs more care and efforts to bring to maturity and innate nature.
Gautam Buddha has described through his Jatak Kathas that he had got enlightenment some of his previous births ago; however he had to take some more births to perfect that. Till one becomes Fully Enlightened, one is called Bodhisattva. So, enlightenment happens while remaining bodhisattva but that becomes perfect when one becomes Buddha, when Enlightenment is embedded in one’s subconscious mind, WHEN IT PERVADES THE WHOLE CONSCIOUSNESS.
Buddha has mentioned in his dialogues many where in his Scriptures, ‘Enlightened Disciple’, this word is very important and worth of ATTENTION. When he speaks ‘Enlightened Disciple’ means ‘Bodhisattva’, to whom enlightenment has taken place but yet to be brought to MATURITY, PERFECTION, when that comes to FULL MATURITY, FULL PERFECTION, then Bodhisattva enters into the TENTH OR LAST STAGE OF BODHISATTVAHOOD, WHICH IS CALLED BUDDHAHOOD, then NIRVANA IS THERE IN 100%. That is called Ultimate Stage of Consciousness or Dharmakaya or Tathagatahood or Nirvana, what matters it they are only other names for the Supreme State i.e., NIRVANA.