My roots are firm and my direction unchangeable.
I am planted to the east of the house or the temple and if faced in another direction, I refuse to grow. There are customs associated with me and those housing me have to follow these rituals.
I am the first-known depicted tree in India.
I am as ancient as the Mohenjo-daro civilisation.
I have been watching the universe for centuries.
When I turn twelve and enter puberty, the temple purohit or the Karta of the family performs the Upanayan ceremony. This entails building of a circular platform around me and invoking Lord Narayana, Lord Vasudeva and Goddesses Rukmini and Satyabhama.
The Neem tree is always planted beside me in a way our branches intermingle as we grow taller. On Amavasya night, many villagers perform a symbolic marriage between us. The Neem represents the Shivalinga while I, the Peepala, represent the yoni, power of the female.
Keshava: A Magnificent Obsession available on https://amzn.to/2vogOtk