Deng Yuanjue

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Deng Yuanjue
Water Margin character
Also known as "Buddha of Holy Light"
Imperial Adviser of Fang La
Ancestral home / Place of origin Shezhou (present-day She County, Huangshan City, Anhui)
First appearance Chapter 94
Weapon Monk's staff made of pure iron (渾鐵禪杖)
Simplified Chinese 邓元觉
Traditional Chinese 鄧元覺
Pinyin Dèng Yuánjué
Wade–Giles Teng Yuan-chueh
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Deng.

Deng Yuanjue is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He serves as an adviser to Fang La, a rebel leader who established a separatist regime in southern China against the ruling Song Empire. Fang La is one of the rebel leaders that the 108 Liangshan outlaws have to defeat after they have been granted amnesty by the Song government.


Deng Yuanjue is a monk from Shezhou (歙州; present-day She County, Anhui). He is nicknamed "Buddha of Holy Light". He wields a monk's spade made of pure iron which weighs more than 25 kg.

Deng Yuanjue makes his first appearance in the novel when the Liangshan forces loyal to the Song Empire are preparing to attack Hangzhou, a major city in Fang La's rebel state. He leads 500 foot soldiers out of the city to engage the enemy and challenge them to a one-on-one fight. Liangshan's "Flowery Monk" Lu Zhishen accepts the challenge and fights with Deng Yuanjue for over 50 rounds, but neither of them manages to overcome his opponent. Wu Song feels worried when he sees that, so he draws his sabers and comes to Lu Zhishen's aid. Deng Yuanjue retreats back into the city.

Deng Yuanjue appears again later during the battle at Black Dragon Ridge (烏龍嶺; northeast of present-day Meicheng Town, Jiande, Hangzhou, Zhejiang), where he encounters the Liangshan army led by Song Jiang. He engages Liangshan's Qin Ming in a one-on-one duel and fights with him for more than six rounds before Qin feigns defeat and retreats. Deng Yuanjue wants to use the opportunity to capture Song Jiang so he charges towards him, but is hit in the face by an arrow fired by Hua Rong. He falls off his horse and is slain by Liangshan soldiers after he is down.