While at Benares, Caitanya had an interview with the learned sannyāsīs of that town in the house of a Maratha brāhmaṇa who had invited all the sannyāsīs for entertainment. At this interview, Caitanya shewed a miracle which attracted all the sannyāsīs to him. Then ensued reciprocal conversation. The sannyāsīs were headed by their most learned leader Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī. After a short controversy, they submitted to Mahāprabhu and admitted that they had been misled by the commentaries of Śaṅkarācārya. It was impossible even for learned scholars to oppose Caitanya for a long time, for there was some spell in him which touched their hearts and made them weep for their spiritual improvement. The sannyāsīs of Benares soon fell at the feet of Caitanya and asked for his grace (kṛpā). Caitanya then preached pure bhakti and instilled into their hearts spiritual love for Kṛṣṇa which obliged them to give up sectarian feelings. The whole population of Benares, on this wonderful conversion of the sannyāsīs, turned Vaiṣṇavas, and they made a master saṅkīrtana with their new Lord. After sending Sanātana to Vṛndāvana, Mahāprabhu went to Purī again through the jungles with his comrade Balabhadra. Balabhadra reported that Mahāprabhu had shown a good many miracles on his way to Purī, such as making tigers and elephants dance on hearing the name of Kṛṣṇa.
From this time, that is, from his 31 st year, Mahāprabhu continually lived in Purī in the house of Kāśi Miśra until his disappearance in his forty-eighth year at the time of saṅkīrtana in the temple of Ṭoṭā-gopīnātha. During these 18 years, his life was one of settled love and piety. He was surrounded by numerous followers, all of whom were of the highest order of Vaiṣṇavas and who were distinguished from the common people by their purest character and learning, firm religious principles and spiritual love of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Svarūpa Dāmodara, who had been known by the name of Puruṣottamācārya while Mahāprabhu was in Nadia, joined him from Benares and accepted service as his secretary. No production of any poet or philosopher could be laid before Mahāprabhu unless Svarūpa had passed it as pure and useful. Rāya Rāmānanda was his second mate. Both he and Svarūpa would sing while Mahāprabhu expressed his sentiments on a certain point of worship. Paramānanda Purī was his minister in matters of religion. There are hundreds of anecdotes described by his biographers which we do not think it meet here to reproduce. Mahāprabhu slept short. His sentiments carried him far and wide in the firmament of spirituality every day and night, and all his admirers and followers watched him throughout. He worshiped, communicated with his missionaries at Vṛndāvana, and conversed with those religious men who newly came to visit him. He sang and danced, took no care of himself and oft-times lost himself in religious beatitude. All who came to him believed in him as the all-beautiful God appearing in the nether world for the benefit of mankind. He loved his mother all along and sent her mahāprasāda now and then with those who went to Nadia. He was most amiable in nature. Humility was personified in him. His sweet appearance gave cheer to all who came in contact with him. He appointed Prabhu Nityānanda as the missionary in charge of Bengal. He dispatched six disciples (Gosvāmīs) to Vṛndāvana to preach love in the upcountry. He punished all of his disciples who deviated from a holy life. This he markedly did in the case of Junior Haridāsa. He never lacked in giving proper instructions in life to those who solicited them. This will be seen in his teachings to Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. His treatment to Haridāsa (senior) will show how he loved spiritual men and how he defied caste distinction in spiritual brotherhood.