A more concise and simple description of the Buddha’s enlightenment including the teaching to the five medicants (bhikkhū) comes from the Venerable Vaṅgīsa (S. i. 193) which goes:
The light-maker, having pierced right through,
Saw the transcendence of all stations;
Having known and realized it himself,
He taught the chief matter to the five.
Here the Buddha, that is, our light-maker or illumination-maker (P., pajjotakaro) has transcended or gone beyond all stations which are all stations of views and stations of consciousness according to the commentary. Where this has to be realized is from within. There is something we are not seeing because of our spiritual ignorance although it is omnipresent.
In the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta the Buddha tells the five mendicants there are two extremes that should not be followed by those going into homelessness to win enlightenment. One is the extreme of hedonism (kāmasukhallikānuyogo) while the other is the extreme of asceticism (attakilamathānuyogo), exhausting/mortifying the physical body by various practices. In giving up both extremes the Tathagata finds the middle way (majjhimā paṭipadā).
Without veering towards either of these extremes, the Tathagata has awakened to the middle way, which gives rise to vision, which gives rise to knowledge, which leads to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana” (S. v. 421).
Both the world of the hedonist and the ascetic are very much dependent upon the physical body. One extreme gives into sensuality while the other denies it including the lustful body which is punished. The world of the average person or puthujjana is more or less addicted to physical, sensual enjoyments. This individual hopes to find happiness at a sensual level. The ascetic, on the other hand, fears the sensual, knowing its pitfalls and limitation. Still, this individual believes that mortification of the body with all of its lusts will bring about enlightenment. But for the Buddha, uncovering the unconditioned (nibbana) is through mind/spirit—not through the physical apparatus. One, in a manner of speaking, ‘sees’ the unconditioned, pristine absolute, suddenly.
This is, in fact, the transcendent essence or substance from which the illusion is constructed. It is a mesmerizing illusion the ordinary person faces and clings to in the belief it is true reality. Seeing this essence is how the escape is accomplished. One now goes to this rather than to the illusion which is never other than constructed.