kirtu wrote:By definition, an Arhat aroused from samadhi should be capable of meditation in the womb and are the very definition of the 2nd class of tulku (not that I'm trying to drag that debate in here) - the intentional rebirth of an Arya Bodhisattva - the Arhat was roused and then taught by a Buddha and then took rebirth because of bodhicitta motivation.
I don't think Arhats can take birth in the six realms. I'm under the impression they continue the path in various Pure Lands. I may be wrong, though (damn I need to learn more).
As far as one school saying that the Arhat is at the level of First Bhumi, and other schools saying he is at the level of Sixth. I don't really think it makes a difference a big difference. These are just various classifications, that aren't worth too much, IMO. The important point is that the Arhat has fully realized the emptiness of persons, and that Bodhisattvas aim to realize the emptiness of all phenomena.
I personally think a first Bhumi bodhisattva is at the level of the of a Hinayana Sakadagami in terms of what afflcitions have been abandoned by the realization of the emptiness of persons. That is to say they have fully realized the emptiness of persons (having realized the emptiness of all phenomena at the First Bhumi), they have minimized the afflictions of attachment and aversion since they can give a peice of their flesh, for example, to someone in need, but they have not abandoned attachment and aversion of the sense sphere because they can still get angry if someone tortures or abuses them. Because of that last thing listed, they have not removed attachment and aversions completely as Hinayana Anagamis have. Thus leaving them, in terms of afflictions abandoned, on the level of the Hinayana Sakadagami. OF course, however, having realized the emptiness of all phenomena fully, and not merely the emptiness of persons, they have abandoned more subtle obscurations than even the Arhat has. So it's tricky.
Is that to say a Hinayana Sakadagami is at the level of a First Bhumi bodhisattva? Of course not, because they have not realized the emptiness of all phenomena yet, nor even aspired to. Even a person who has simply taken Bodhisattva vows without reaching any level of realization whatsoever is at a higher level than an Arhat, even though they have removed no afflictions at all, simply because they have begun working the emptiness of all phenomena and have aspired to realize Buddhahood, which, some Arhats have not.