An answer to what are the duties of children born from an intermixing of castes?, beautifully describes that a chandala is one born of the pratiloma union of a Sudra man and a Brahmin woman and their traditional duties are mainly related to death.
In a documentary about Varanasi’s Dom Raja, the Untouchable Gatekeepers of Heaven, the main person of the documentary states that that by caste the chandalas were Brahmins but due to a curse by Lord Shiva (at 1:18), they became chandala and started tending to dead bodies.
Based (or not) on the above two, I would like to have an in-depth insight about the origin of Chandalas:-
- Does it mean that any offspring of any union ever, of a Brahmin woman and Sudra man is a chandala and must take on such duties OR was the case such that some time in yore, such a union produced the entire chandala caste (As per the documentary it seems like a hereditary profession) OR it was hereditary and in future any such offspring would join the hereditary lot as well?
- What is the curse by Lord Shiva, being referred to, due to which Chandalas became so?
(This point is related to the first point - is it that Shiva cursed any child born of such a pratiloma marriage to be a chandala or in the days of yore, when such an offspring was produced, all his descendants were cursed to become chandalas)