Veer Teja (Hindi:वीर तेजा) or Tejaji (Hindi:तेजाजी) (1074- 1103) was a folk-deity who lived in the state of Rajasthan in India. The history of Rajasthan is filled with lots of heroic stories and instances where people have put their life and families at risk and kept the pride and values like loyalty, freedom, truth, shelter, social reform etc intact. Veer Teja was one of these famous people in the history of Rajasthan.
 Birth of Tejaji
Veer Teja ji is considered to be folk-deity and worshiped in entire Rajasthan by all communities. He was born on Friday, magha shukla 14 samvat 1130 (29 January 1074), in the family of Dhaulya gotra Jats. His father was Chaudhary Tahar, a chieftain of Khirnal in Nagaur district in Rajasthan. His mother’s name was Sugna. Mother Sugna is believed to have got son Teja ji by the blessings of Naga-deity.
 Genealogy of Tejaji
The Genealogy of Tejaji is as under: The primeval man of their ancestry was Mahābal, whose descendants were Bhīmsen, Pīlapunjar, Sārangdev, Shaktipāl, Rāmpāl, Dhawalpāl, Nayanpāl, Gharṣanpāl, Takkapāl, Mūlsen, Ratansen, Śuṇḍal, Kuṇḍal, Pippal, Udayarāj, Narpāl, Kāmrāj, Vohitrāj and Ṭhirarāj or Taharji.
Taharji had six sons namely - Tejaji, Raṇaji, Guṇaji, Maheshji, Nagji, and Rūpji. He had two daughters namely - Rājal and Dūngari. Rājal was married. Rājal was married to Jogaji Siyag of village Tabījī (तबीजी). Rājal had become sati with his brother Tejaji.
 History of Dhaulya clan
The ancestors of Tejaji were settled in Khilchipur in Madhya Pradesh. The Naga Jats of Marwar are from Vasuki or Ganapati Nagavanshi. The Dhaulya clan started after Dhawal Rao or Dhaula Rao ruler of Nagavansh. Swet Naga in Sanskrit is the Dhaulya Naga in prakrit language. Tejaji's ancestor Udairaj occupied Khirnal and made it his capital. There were twenty four villages in Khirnal pargana and area was quite extensive. This pargana of Khirnal was very famous during those.
During Tejaji's period the country was ruled by small republics which were in constant struggle with each other. Taharji, Tejaji's father, was the Chieftain of Kharnal. There were conflicts between Nagavanshi is and Aryans. Nagavanshis were bent upon to destroy the Aryans. According to Hindu mythology, During Mahabharata period, Parīkśita the successor of Yudhisthira, was the ruler of Hastinapura. Parikshita was cursed by a sage's son to die after snake bite. On hearing this, the king forswore the throne for his son Janamejaya and spent his last days listening to the discourses of Sage Sukadeva on Bhagwat. As prophecised, Snake king Takshaka bit Parikshita leading to his death. Infact Takshaka was a nagavanshi King who killed Parikshita.
 Story of Tejaji's sacrifice
As per the tradition in that area, the chieftain had to initiate the ploughing of fields after first rains in jyestha month. Tejaji's father and brother were out of the village at first rains so his mother asked Tejaji to do the halsotiya in the fields. Tejaji went to fields and started ploughing. His bhabhi became late in fetching his food locally called Chhak, which angered tejaji. On Tejaji's anger she taunted that his wife was in her father's home and it was shame on his part. This prompted him to go to bring his wife from in-laws. Bhabhi asked Tejaji that before he brings his wife Pemal, he should bring his sister Rajal so that she can receive Pemal on her first arrival to Kharnal. Tejājī was married to Pemal in early childhood at Pushkar with the daughter of Rai Mal Jat of Jhanjhar gotra, chieftain of village Paner . After marriage there was a dispute between two families in which māmā of Pemal and father of Tejaji were killed. Tejaji did not know that he was married.
When Tejaji was on way to village Tabiji to bring his sister, he was attacked by Meena sardar. There was a war and Tejaji was victorious. He reached village Tabiji, got permission of her sister's husband Jogaji Siyag and brought Rajal to Kharnal.
Next day early in the morning he mounted his mare Līlaṇ with palāṇ and started journey to Paner to bring his wife Pemal. It was a difficult journey, but he crossed all the Rivers running full of water due to heavy rains. He reached Paner by evening. At that time his mother-in-law was milking cows. The cows got disturbed due to Tejaji's brisk entry on his mare. His mother-in-law could not recognize Tejaji and cursed him that he be bite by a black snake as he has disturbed her cows. Tejaji got angry over this comment and decided to return without Pemal.
Lachha Gujari was a friend of Pemal. Her house was about 2 km from Rupangarh. Lachhan Gujari helped Pemal to meet with Teja. For this Lachhan rode on camel and went to Teja facing many clashes with Meena sardars en route. Lachhan reached Teja and gave Pemal's message that if Tejaji does not come she will die. Parents of Pemal had decided to re-marriage her with some other person. At this time Pemal was going to die but saved by Lachhan. Tejaji came to Paner and saw her there. Pemal was a beautiful and attractive girl. They were talking with each other that they heard knock of Lachha Gujari. Lachha told Tejaji that thieves have taken away all her cows and there is no body in this to help. Tejaji mounted his mare Lilan and started alone to fight with dacoits, who had taken away Lachha's cows.
 A man of words
Tejaji found that dacoits who had stolen the cows of Lachhan Gujari were Meena sardar's people. Tejaji, who was made for helping others, decided to bring those cows. The myth is that he encountered a snake burning in fire that was saved by Teja. That snake cursed Teja and wanted to bite Teja. In fact he had encountered with a Nagavanshi chieftain and he had a war with him. He promised to come back after bringing his wife Pemal. He was badly wounded in the process to bring Gujari's cows back from dacoits. Veer Teja was man of words. While returning he kept his words and produced himself before the snake. The snake did not find unwounded place on the body of Teja so he offered to bite on tongue. The snakebite was on tongue of Teja. Teja died due to snakebite on 28 august 1103.
Historical facts are that while Tejaji was returning from Paner with his wife he was attacked jointly by Meenas, who were defeated earlier and Nagavanshi chieftains. Tejaji and his wife fought bravely with sword. Tejaji was killed in the war and Pemal became sati at place called Sursura. Tejaji's sister Rajal had also become sati which is a unique example of sister becoming sati in the Indian history.
 A saint
Veer Teja was a great saint. A large number of temples of Veer Teja have been built in entire Rajasthan. It is believed that if a person suffering from snakebite goes to samadhi of Teja or puts a chord (tanti) in Tejaji's name, he is cured. Tejaji is a demigod with the power to spare from death any snakebite victim who ties an amulet in Tejaji's name. And to this day the priests of Tejaji's temples go into trance and suck the poison out of snakebites and then tie a thread around the wrist or ankle of the victim. And it is believed that no one so treated will die from the bite.
 Tejaji fairs
A large fair, Mela Tejaji, Takes place on the eleventh lunar day of Bhadrapad Shukla Paksh (Aug.-Sept.) every year in village Parbatsar, District Nagaur in Rajasthan. Veer Tejaji Cattle Fair at Parbatsar near Makrana is also organized every year. Many fairs are held in Malwa region on the tenth day of the month of Bhadra to mark the birth of Tejaji. Tejaji fairs at places like Beowar, Kishangarh, Bundi, Ajmer, Kharnal in Rajasthan are held on this date. A fair of tejaji is also organized at village Bhamawad of Guna district in Madhya Pradesh on this date. Malwa has large number of followers of Tejaji and fairs are held in large number of villages there on this date.
 Taj Mahal: a Tejaji temple