Veer Tejaji: The legendary folk hero of Rajasthan
Veer Tejaji or Tejaji was a legendary and an inspirational figure folk hero of Rajasthan. Considered as the 11th incarnation of Lord Shiva, Tejaji is worshipped as the deity in Rajasthan. His legend is like that of a young man, who strived hard for getting respect and recognition, and he did sacrifice everything to maintain conception of honour. A number of conceptions are recounted by the board and Priests when it comes to Tejaji.
The birth of the Legend Tejaji
Tejaji or Veer Teja was born in the family of Jats. He is taken to be as folk-deity and is worshiped all throughout Rajasthan. Chaudhary Tahar and Sugna were his father and mother respectively, and Sugna ardently believed that Tejaji was born as the direct blessing from Naga-deity. Teja’s ancestors settled in Madhya Pradesh, and the Nag jats are from Nagavanshi. His ancestor Udairaj occupied Khirnal.
The legend surrounding the hero Tejaji
It is said that Tejaji got married when he was an infant to someone infant belonging to the neighboring clan. It was a kind of barter marriage where his sister was given away to wife’s cousin. Then, Tejaji undertook a perilous journey in order to fetch his infant wife from her parents in response to a taunting from his sister-in-law. In fact, the most revolutionary aspect of the multiple legends is Tejaji saving the cows of a lower caste woman from the Bandits. Tejaji also fulfilled a kind of vow to the snake by risking or rather sacrificing his own life. After Tejaji’s death, his wife and sister were burned to the funeral of Tejaji during the ritual of Sati. The cult of Tejaji has been non-Brahmanical, implying an element of rebel against the age old practice of caste system. He was very much against the caste system, and this is well testified when a gardener or mali is the priest in his temple.
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Veer Tejaji attaining martyrdom
Veer Tejaji was a very brave warrior, who sacrificed his life to protect the cows. After he had safeguarded the cows, he attained martyrdom. There is a temple built to commemorate his bravery and brave acts. Mandir Shri Veer Tejaji was founded to commemorate the act of valiance or the exemplary sacrifice. In the Temple, one can find marble statue of Tejaji, which is enshrined. It was Maharaj Abhay Singhji belonging to the Jodhpur State who had built it. The Maharaj along with Vijai Raj, his minister, had performed Praan Prathishta, which is the kind of ritual performed to infuse life into the deity of the temple. Now, the priest of that temple is Shri Ram Swarup Sharma. The temple belongs to various religious sects like Pooja of the idol is performed in Vaishnava tradition, but then people of all sects can worship the deity.
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The great architecture of Mandir Shree Veer Tejaji
Temple is at Parbatsar, Nagaur, Rajasthan. It is Built in the year 1704 A.D. by Maharaja Abhai Singh of the state of Jodhpur. The temple is erect on the upraised platform and inside the tomb, one can find Tejaji’s shrine. To construct the temple, stones, lime and local materials have been used. You can also locate a veranda comprised of cement.
Interesting facts about Mandir Shree Veer Tejaji
If anyone is being bitten by the snake, the case of snake bite is brought to the temple. Worship is performed by invoking the deity, which possesses someone and that person removes the venom.
In the temple of Veer Tejaji, the cattle fair is organized and lasts from Shrawan Shukla Purnima to the Bhadra Pada’s Amavasya. During the fair, cattle are sold, and buyers from places like Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, etc. come here. Then after the fair, a religious fair is also held in the mid of Bhadra Pada month.
The temple timing is between 6 am and 10 pm.
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The religious Fair of Veer Tejaji
In the memory of Veer Tejaji, a religious festival and fair are held in Rajasthan. Tejaji, as already said, is the highly regarded folk deity of Rajasthan. The celebration takes place on the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada month as per the Hindu calendar and is the very annual event to commemorate the victories of Tejaji. Grand fairs are organized in different parts of the state and are, in fact, attended by people from different states. People belonging to the rural areas are mainly the active participants. All the casts and communities worship Tejaji as their folk hero.
The heroic achievements of Veer Tejaji
The life of Veer Tejaji is full of brave acts and heroic achievements. To safeguard the values and pride of his family, he sacrificed his life and was the man of words. In fact, the legend of his life exemplifies how very brave he was. He protected others at the cost of his own life. He was unaware of his own marriage due to the disputes between the families. When he came to know about his wife, he went off to take his wife but unfortunately got killed in the middle. Tejaji could vanquish and slay all the enemies but died simply to keep his words to a snake that he promised to return after the battle. The snake wanted to kill Tejaji before the battle, but he asked the snake to let him go and fight the battle of his clan. Tejaji promised further to return after the battle was over. He kept his words and ultimately died. This was a real heroism and he was thus martyred.
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People of Rajasthan do take him as a saint and thus constructed temples to worship him. It is strongly believed that he can cure those who have been bitten by a snake. Different rituals are being practiced at Tejaji’s Fair. At the Tejaji fair, you can experience social harmony, and in fact, it is a great place for traders to carry out business. Veer Tejaji Maharaj Temple is very famous in Rajasthan. Mantras are chanted, and bhajans are sung in the premises.
Tejaji was the man of words in a true sense. In order to help others, he had sacrificed his life. There is also a movie ‘Veer Tejaji,’ which was made to record the life incidences. Being made in the year 1980, the movie was a huge success.