If we go by who touches us deep within and we feel at peace with this person because they have an aura about them that we cannot see with the eyes, then we are on a surer footing as to who is enlightened or not. It is not about what they say. Sri Ramana Maharshi taught all his disciples in total silence for many years. Then he broke his silence because he felt that was more effective at the time. His words were infused with the holiness he held within his heart. Those who were and are receptive to it felt and feel it today.
It isn’t even about what they do. Rajneesh, or Osho, was a nitrous oxide addicted sage whose behavior and apparent greed for Rolls Royces did not present an admirable picture. He descended into vindictive language and actions and obviously loved being worshipped by his followers. Yet within all this chaos, I could detect an enlightened man at one time. His actions did not show it because he let the thrill of being considered God infuse his ego-mind. He even referred to himself as Bhagwan, which means “God.”
One of my favorite enlightened beings is (was) Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. He was a chain smoker who was mostly a cigarette merchant for much of his life. Yet his words resonate within my consciousness and soul as being the Real Deal. I know deeply within that this is an enlightened being. Yet, by his actions, smoking violently as he answers questions, and even losing patience, the average person might not be able to see it. They may judge him and expect an enlightened being to be an immaculate saint.
Sainthood is not a prerequisite for being an enlightened being. And just putting on saffron robes or chanting and sitting in meditation for hours is also no indication. The enlightened person awakens something within the heart of the receptive person who is ready and actively seeking something beyond the wheel of birth and death. If the soul of the person is not ready or receptive, that person will not be able to discern enlightenment. They then become the victims of the false prophets and power-hungry psychopaths who twist our desire for higher consciousness for their petty ego-gratification.