Son of Pandu (ORCHESTRAL)
Duration: 8-10 minutes
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King Pandu had five sons; together, they were known as the Pandavas. The Pandavas' story is told in the ancient Hindu epic poem Mahabhaaratha. "Son of Pandu" explores the character of his third son, Arjuna, the hero of the Mahabhaaratha.
Arjuna was a powerful warrior and was especially known for his skill in archery. At the same time, he was a spiritual devotee of various gods; he would meditate for months and even years. Arjuna's most
important contribution to Hinduism was his conversation with God Krishna during the midst of a war, detailed in the sacred Bhagvat Gita. As related in the Mahabhaaratha, Arjuna was supposed to raise arms against his cousins to secure the greater good; in his moral dilemma, he turned to Krishna. The advice he received has become the core tenet for practitioners of Hinduism: Krishna told him to do his dharma-- his duty.
For many reasons, Arjuna was much more than the 'son of Pandu': in significance, he has surpassed Pandu. Additionally, the king died relatively early on, and so Arjuna relied most on his mother Kunti for parental guidance. Finally, according to some interpretations, Arjuna's father was the God Indra. Nonetheless, Arjuna was the sort to always remember and respect those who loved and supported him; this piece, then, is as much an homage to the vigor and greatness of this mythic figure as it is an acknowledgment of those who have touched us in immeasurable ways.
Winner of the Composers Guild of New Jersey Award, 2018
Son of Pandu, performed by Musica Vitae Chamber Orchestra, 2019. Directed by Per Tengstrand. Växjö, Sweden.