A True Inspiration: Claudio Cipullo

Kopan Monastery in 1971. Front row (left to right): Zina Rachevsky, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Geshe Thubten Tashi, Age Delbanco (Babaji), Lama Yeshe and Losang Nyima. Claudio Cipullo is circled in red

By: Michaela Smith

Claudio Cipullo today

Every now and then, we come across personalities that touch and inspire us Dorje Shugden practitioners. In the middle of hypocrisy and suffocating pressures to be politically correct, to ostracise our Guru and fellow Dharma practitioners who practice the Lord Protector Dorje Shugden, one person stands out.

Claudio Cipullo was a student of Lama Yeshe. He attended the first meditation course in Kopan Monastery back in year 1971. As stated in the Big Love – The Life and Teachings of Lama Yeshe site (https://biglovelamayeshe.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/the-first-meditation-course-at-kopan/):

Claudio had been down in Bodhgaya when he found himself staring fixedly at a photo of Lama Yeshe. “I decided he was calling me! That course was like an explanation of my whole life,” said Claudio.

Claudio then received Dorje Shugden’s initiation from Lama Yeshe’s root guru, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, together with Lama Zopa.

I myself took the initiation of Shugden from His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche. There were four of us. Lama Yeshe, Claudio Cipullo, Piero Cerri and myself. However, this initiation can be given to only three people at a time; there cannot be four. Kyabje Rinpoche had set up the altar and made all the preparations perfectly—of course, everything he did was always perfect—and was there, waiting for us. After the four of us sat down, he said, “You cannot be four; only three. Whoever has bodhicitta, who has let go of the I and cherishes others, should leave.” Lama shot up immediately. I just sat there like a donkey, as if I were made of stone. So then the three of us, Claudio, Piero and I, took the initiation.

Lama Zopa (http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=335&chid=1398)

Since Lama Yeshe and Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche passed away, circumstances have changed. Dorje Shugden practitioners are facing multiple and magnified challenges to conform with His Holiness Dalai Lama’s advice to not practice this lord protectors. This advice is enforced by the CTA and their affiliates. Many monasteries and dharma centers around the world including FPMT have ceased their Shugden practice.

Left to right: Lama Michel, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, Lama Gangchen Rinpoche. Claudio Cipullo has remained loyal to his lamas and lineage, and currently teaches in Albagnano Healing Meditation Center in Italy


However, Mr. Claudio Cipullo has chosen to be true to his Gurus (i.e. Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe) and his practice of Dorje Shugden in the face of these challenges. Currently, Mr. Claudio Cipullo teaches NgalSo Self Healing and Tchu Len “taking the essence” at Albagnano Healing Meditation Center in Italy (http://ahmc.ngalso.net/masters_and_teachers/claudio-cipullo-2/?lang=en). Albagno Healing Meditation Center was founded by Lama Gangchen Rinpoche, one of the prominent Shugden lamas in the world today.

We fold our hands with respect to Mr. Claudio Cipullo for his courage and being true to his Guru’ teachings.


For further reading:

Where is Lama Yeshe? (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/where-is-lama-yeshe/)

FPMT Lineage Masters are Dorje Shugden Believers (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/fpmt-lineage-masters-are-believers-of-dorje-shugden/)

FPMT, Dalai Lama and Dorje Shugden (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/fpmt-dalai-lama-and-dorje-shugden/)

Fabrizio Pallotti (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/news/fabrizio-pallotti/)

Politically Correct at the Expense of the Lineage (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/politically-correct-at-the-expense-of-the-lineage/)

Lama Yeshe and Geshe Rabten (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/mail-out/lama-yeshe-and-geshe-rabten/)

The Broken Samayas of FPMT (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/the-broken-samayas-of-fpmt/)

The Questionable Policies of the FPMT (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/the-questionable-policies-of-the-fpmt/)

Lama Zopa admitted to being recognized by Dorje Shugden (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/others-old/lama-zopa-admitted-to-being-recognized-by-dorje-shugden/)

Recognized by Dorje Shugden, but Speaks against Dorje Shugden (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/recognized-by-dorje-shugden-but-speaks-against-dorje-shugden/)

Kopan Monks Asking for Dorje Shugden Puja for Lama Zopa (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/kopan-monks-asking-for-dorje-shugden-puja-for-lama-zopa/)

Dakini Healed Lama Zopa? (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/dakini-healed-lama-zopa/)

Who made Lama Zopa a Rinpoche? (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/features/who-made-lama-zopa-a-rinpoche/)

A Tribute to Ven. Lama Yeshe Rinpoche (http://www.dorjeshugden.com/great-masters/a-tribute-to-ven-lama-yeshe-rinpoche/)

Please support this website by making a donation.
Your contribution goes towards supporting
our work to spread Dorje Shugden across the world.
Share this article
25 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Rejoice for Claudio for being loyal to Tsongkhapa, loyal to Dorje Shugden and loyal to Lama Yeshe. Rejoice for him still teaching buddha dharma.

  2. Of course who is paolorossi4444 the nick name of claudio cipullo,well I don’t deserve such an article on me,just an old student of H.H.Trijang Dorje Chan and Geshe Rabten Rinpoche(who said :If you really want to change for the better and ask for it to Dorje Shugden he will even give you His heart.)I prostrate now, untill enlightenment to Geshe Rabten Rinpoche,Rabten Yansi and Gonsar Tse Tulku Rinpoche one of the greatest example of perfect Guru Devotion in this era.
    “Having seen the Holy faces of two generations of the Guru and having enjoyed the nectar of His teachings,I have experienced the joy and happiness of being taken care by them.
    A ho,wonderfull,such festivity of good fortune is great!
    now,from this moment untill the attainment of Great Liberation,
    May the auspicious interdipendent Samaya bond
    of non-separation be tied with idestructible Vajra knot.
    O,the One with Vajra Name(Dorje Shugden)give Your assistance in keeping it eternally bound!”Verses of praise to Guru Heruka,called swiftly attracting the hook of Compassion”written by Gonsar Tse Tulku or Gurudasa 28-2-2012 at Albagnano Italy,on request of Drubwang Gangchen Tulku.
    Long life to the Holy Lamas of the glorious Paponka Dorje Chan tradition.
    for ever your servant
    Claudio Cipullo Italy Champa Togme.


  4. Rejoice for Claudio! True to oneself, true to one’s Guru and Guru’s teachings is the foundation of Buddhism teachings, is the foundation of one’s enlightenment.

    Thanks to all who hold strong to their practice of Dorje Shugden, together we stay until the ban lifted!

  5. Dear Mr. Claudio

    You have been a true inspiration for me. I respect your courage and devotion to your Gurus and Lord Shugden.

    Kind regards


  6. Thank you for this article to highlight true loyalty towards one’s lineage, practise and guru. Claudio Cipullo is a shining example to follow, for he never abandoned his guru to be politically correct. He values the teachings and transmissions he had received more than anything else. It is nice to see. Thank you Claudio for being a great role model to so many and it is nice to see you in the Dharma, and teaching now.Thank you for leaving a message here, and even within your message, you never fail to exemplify the kindness you received from your gurus. Thank you.

  7. Mr. Claudio Cipullo, you are so meritious to be able to have received Dorje Shugden’s initiation from Lama Yeshe’s root guru, Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and remain steadfast to your gurus and lineage throughout this turmoil. I truly rejoice for your bravery, loyalty and commitment. You are a great inspiration.



  10. Someone says the Dorje Shugden practitioners are just few crazy people,please look well in the life stories of the Great Lamas who practised, are practising now, and will pracrise in the future.thanks.

  11. Is very inspiring to know mr Claudio never give up his practice very strong guru devotion , if we read about the 50 stanza of guru devotion one of the clause mention about our devotion to our guru is very important because is the cause of our attainment Mr Claudio determination will encourage us to stay in the path no matter how difficult the situation we are facing.

  12. Thank you, Claudio. You’re a “pilar” supporting our lineage, telling us the true, making a real peace.

  13. True is the real winner.a friend.

  14. be true to yourself.a friend

  15. There are countless true inspirations of perfect Diamond Like Devotion to H.H.Trijang Dorje Chan and Manjusri Dorje Shugden please look well on this Website thanks.paolo

  16. Claudio Cipullo alias Paolo Rossi. I do not want to have a pro or against discussion about Shugden here. That will be another time.
    But at least let us state the facts as they are.
    The sosde was requested by myself to Kyabje Trichang Rinpoche, Who took several months before agreeing in giving the initiation. It is true that we were four entering the room of Kyabje Rinpoche, it is true also that Lama Yeshe got up when Kyabje Rinpoche said that the initiation could be given only to three people at the time. But before starting Kyabje Rinpoche mentioned that the requirement to take such initiation was to have received the Yamantaka Pawo Jikpa full initiation. Kyabje Rinpoche asked each one of us if we had received such initiation, and since you had not yet received such initiation, you said no. At that time you had to go out of the room and so Lama Yeshe came in, and we happily received the initiation.without you. I am surprised of this lost of memory.. I said this only to state facts(please do check Kyabje Rinpoche byography to refresh your memory) as they happened, regarding other things is totally up to you the choises that you made. Take good care of yourself.

  17. dear mr. Cerri,
    looks like you didn’t read well the article:
    who is telling the story about the initiation is not mr. Cipullo, but Lama Zopa himself:

    I myself took the initiation of Shugden from His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche. There were four of us. Lama Yeshe, Claudio Cipullo, Piero Cerri and myself. However, this initiation can be given to only three people at a time; there cannot be four. Kyabje Rinpoche had set up the altar and made all the preparations perfectly—of course, everything he did was always perfect—and was there, waiting for us. After the four of us sat down, he said, “You cannot be four; only three. Whoever has bodhicitta, who has let go of the I and cherishes others, should leave.” Lama shot up immediately. I just sat there like a donkey, as if I were made of stone. So then the three of us, Claudio, Piero and I, took the initiation.

    Lama Zopa (http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=335&chid=1398)

  18. This should not have happened- Lama Osel disrobed, never finished his studies, achieved nothing much in his secular life, just running around with his girlfriend and clubbing in Ibizia, Spain. His previous life accomplished so much with the help of his determination, hard work and Dorje Shugden. Lama Yeshe credited much of his success to the help he was bestowed by Dorje Shugden. By FPMT abanding Dorje Shugden, they broke their samaya with their lineage gurus such as Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche from whom they received the Dorje Shugden sogtae commitment practice. Also it was with Lama Yeshe’s permission they received sogtae from these great masters. By abandoning the practice, they broke their spiritual bond (samaya) which is sacred in tantra with Lama Yeshe and lineage lamas. So it is no surprise Lama Yeshe came back in this incarnation unable to manifest being a great dharma teacher like his previous life. It is a shame and embarrassment to FPMT that Lama Osel ended up not doing much. It is a testimony to their failure in keeping their samaya to their guru and lineage lamas. FPMT wanted fame and rub shoulders with the famous and in return, they lost Lama Yeshe. After Lama Zopa passes away, FPMT will just go down for sure. No one can take over. Breaking their samaya was the wrong thing to do. ☹️

    So many more pictures and information to read here: http://www.dorjeshugden.com/forum/index.php?topic=6197.0



  19. In FPMT’s centre called Tushita in Dharamsala, North India, they have a statue of Lama Yeshe in the form of Vajrasattva with consort. Now the question is simple: If Lama Yeshe practised Dorje Shugden, then he is a bad lama, so why doesn’t FPMT stop the homage/respect to their founding father Lama Yeshe? If they trust him, they will go to three lower realms for worshipping Lama Yeshe who worshipped Dorje Shugden. And all statues of Lama Yeshe should be discarded from all their centres right? In fact, in nearby Gaden Choling Nunnery in Dharamsala, the nun’s took their Dorje Shugden statue out of their main prayer hall where it was worshipped for decades and destroyed the statue in the garbage dump and jumped up and down on it to further desecrate it.

    Furthermore they make a Dorje Shugden worshipping Lama Yeshe in the form of divinity as Buddha Vajrasattva. That is a double-whammy no right? Why is FPMT so contradictory? Why are they blind to this double standard?

    If they wish to disassociate from Dorje Shugden lamas, they have to disassociate from their own centre-founding Lama who is Lama Yeshe. They must set the example right. Everyone knows Lama Yeshe worshipped, trusted and believed in Dorje Shugden till the end of his life. Lama Yeshe is the one that founded FPMT, so they have to be clean across the board and be honest right? If disassociate, then do it all the way. They should have no pictures, statues and images of Lama Yeshe at all. They should not be making images of him as a deity (Vajrasattva) as that is even more wrong according to their stance against Shugden and Shugden Lamas.
    Why encourage their members to worship a Dorje Shugden loving Lama like Lama Yeshe? That is what they are doing when they keep all his images in their centres around the world. They are sending the wrong message out. Lama Yeshe was wrong in their view to practice Dorje Shugden. Lama Yeshe broke his refuge vows by practicing Dorje Shugden. Lama Yeshe’s lineage, teachings, initiations and commentaries are all corrupted because he worshipped Dorje Shugden. So they should ritually expel his images from their centres with immediate effect to be in the clean arena.

    Dalai Lama said if you worship Dorje Shugden, no one should associate with you and you will go to hell. So how come FPMT still keeps a statue of Lama Yeshe in many of their centres? Is that not hypocrisy?

    Photos attached: Lama Yeshe as Vajrasattva with Consort housed in Tushita Centre-Dharamsala AND Lama Zopa prostrating to a statue of Lama Yeshe



  20. Lama Zopa, who has received sogtae (initiation of Dorje Shugden) from His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, had said that:

    “Lama (Yeshe) and I practiced Shugden for many years. That was always the main thing that Lama did whenever there were problems to overcome. At the beginning of every Kopan course, Lama always did Shugden puja to eliminate hindrances.”

    “My root guru, His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche; Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s guru’s root guru; His Holiness Zong Rinpoche, from whom many of the older students received the initiation of Shugden; and the previous incarnation of Gomo Rinpoche, who has a strong connection with Istituto Lama Tsongkhapa, here in Italy, all promoted the practice of Shugden.”
    Photos: 1) Teachings by H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche to FPMT students. 2) As Lama Yeshe reached the end of his life, Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came to the hospital to do prayers for Lama Yeshe. Lama Yeshe was very devoted to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden till the end.


    ZR - LY

  21. I do not understand how a Lama like Lama Rinpoche can write things like this, when it is well-known that he himself gave Dorje Shugden initiations and told the initiates that they were incurring a lifelong obligation to continue the practice, and that breaking such an obligation would incur grave negative karma. It is very confusing and frankly, depressing.

    Lama Zopa has written some excellent books, such as his work on the Medicine Buddha. However, his logic in this foreword is gravely flawed and perhaps even essentially anti-Buddhist. For instance, he says, “If the Precious Victorious One, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, is not the actual Buddha and Arya Avalokiteshvara, then you can say that in this world there is no emanation of Buddha benefiting sentient beings. In this way bodhicitta and the entire teachings of the Buddha become false.”

    Say what??? I do not know whether the Dalai Lama is or is not an emanation of Avalokiteshvara, though, based on his words and actions, I sincerely doubt it. (I mean, the man has repeatedly stated in countless interviews that he is not enlightened, and seems to relish scoffing at the notion that he might be). Regardless, the fact that the Dalai Lama is or is not such an emanation has nothing whatsoever to do with whether there are other emanations of Buddha currently on earth benefitting sentient beings.

    Logically, one does not rule out the possibility that other living Buddhas exist today, or other emanations of Avalokiteshvara, simply by denying that the Dalai Lama is such a one. If I deny that my wife is a panda bear, I am not denying that pandas exist. Indeed, to make a claim of exclusivity on the Dalai Lama’s behalf, as Lama Zopa has done, is really anti-Mahayanan in spirit, for it belittles and denigrates the efficacy of all other Buddhist schools and traditions. Someone seems to have imported the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility into Dharamsala, and now they are beginning to round up the infidels and burn them at the stake.

    It is the height of irony that Lama Zopa urges practitioners to examine their beliefs openly and honestly, and then states as a matter of fact that the Dalai Lama is omniscient and one must adhere to what the ‘omniscient one’ says. Am I not permitted to question whether the Dalai Lama is truly omniscient, and to judge this claim by the evidence of the man’s words and actions? Am I not allowed to take him at his word when he says he is NOT omniscient? Am I not allowed to question his lack of success in defending the cause of Tibet, or his lack of compassion in his treatment of Shugden practitioners, or his bumbling manner in any number of interviews, or his willingness to be used as a CIA puppet or guest editor of a highly immoral fashion magazine?

    Sadly, the recent actions of Lama Zopa and the Dalai Lama have completely soured me on Tibetan Buddhism. I have been forced to turn back to the Theravadan and Chinese teachings, because I will never again turn my will and intellect over to a guru who demands total obedience, even when he teaches one thing today and a completely different thing tomorrow. With this version of Buddhism, it’s a heads-you-win, tails-I-lose situation for the sincere follower … any faults of the guru are really the fault of the practitioner, whose bad karma has caused those faults to manifest. And even when the guru manifests obvious error, he still is not to be questioned because the error again is in the eye of the practitioner and only through blind loyalty can he cleanse his karma to the point where sincere questioning is of any value. If this is the case, then there is no point in advising practitioners to question and judge the teachings, because their bad karma will not allow them to make reasonable judgments. Reason itself is banished; it has become soiled and fallen and no longer can be trusted. Blind obedience becomes the only permitted path … you must believe in the Dalai Lama because he is a priori infallible and any evidence to the contrary is not credible, because ONLY the Dalai Lama represents Buddha in today’s world and EVERYONE ELSE is deluded.

    And so the question arises: if I am required to have blind faith in the Dalai Lama in order to be “saved”, what separates this form of Buddhism from any other exclusivist, country-club members only, religion? What separates Buddhism from the monotheistic religions once reason has been outlawed? You can use the same “your bad karma prevents you from seeing things as they are” argument to justify any religion, any cult, any superstition, any belief whatsoever. It might take a slightly different form — “your ways are not God’s ways,” or “your reason was broken in the original fall from grace of sinful man,” but the essence is the same: don’t trust yourself, look to others, particularly those who are held up as masters, for the truth. In this way, Lama Zopa’s attempt to defend the Dalai Lama becomes an atomic weapon capable of destroying any and all religious belief, or empowering any and all zealots of every stripe.

    I find all of this unworthy of the spirit of inquiry I believe Buddha Shakyamuni promoted, and the spirit of compassion that Avalokiteshvara represents. I hope that one day all the confusion that these modern-day avatars have sowed will be cleared up and those of us who relied upon them as examples and guides on the spiritual path will have our disappointments honestly and frankly acknowledged and rectified.

    Comment left by a Howard from http://www.dorjeshugden.com/all-articles/the-controversy/recognized-by-dorje-shugden-but-speaks-against-dorje-shugden/comment-page-1/#comment-911810

    Picture attached: His Holiness Zong Rinpoche performs last rites for Venerable Lama Yeshe. Both these lamas were totally devoted to Dorje Shugden until the end of their lives. Decades later, Lama Zopa who has abandoned his guru Lama Yeshe’s practice of Dorje Shugden, to befriend the Dalai Lama.


Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter your message

Show More
Show More

(Allowed file types: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, maximum file size: 10MB each)

You can now upload MP4 videos to the comments section. "Choose File" -> click "Upload" then wait while your video is processed. Then copy the link and paste it into the message box. Your video will appear after you submit your comment.
Maximum size is 64MB

Contemplate This

.…Instead of turning away people who practise Dorje Shugden, we should be kind to them. Give them logic and wisdom without fear, then in time they give up the ‘wrong’ practice. Actually Shugden practitioners are not doing anything wrong. But hypothetically, if they are, wouldn’t it be more Buddhistic to be accepting? So those who have views against Dorje Shugden should contemplate this. Those practicing Dorje Shugden should forbear with extreme patience, fortitude and keep your commitments. The time will come as predicted that Dorje Shugden’s practice and it’s terrific quick benefits will be embraced by the world and it will be a practice of many beings.

Dorje Shugden and Dalai Lama – Spreading Dharma Together | Terms of Use | Disclaimer

© DorjeShugden.com 2024 | All Rights Reserved