Madhya 25: How All the Residents of Vārāṇasī Became Vaiṣṇavas
The following is a summary of chapter twenty-five. A Maharashtriyan brāhmaṇa who was living in Benares was a great devotee of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He was always very happy to hear the glories of the Lord, and it was by his arrangement that all the sannyāsīs of Vārāṇasī became devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He invited all the sannyāsīs to his house to meet Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and this incident has been described in the seventh chapter of the Ādi-līlā. From that day, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu became famous in the city of Vārāṇasī, and many important men in that city became His followers. By and by, one of the disciples of the great sannyāsī Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī became devoted to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and this devotee explained Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī and supported His views with various arguments.
One day Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to take a bath at Pañcanada, and afterwards all His devotees began chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra in front of the temple of Bindu Mādhava. At this time Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī and all his devotees approached the Lord. Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī immediately fell down at the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and very much regretted his past behavior toward the Lord. He asked Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu about devotional service in terms of the Vedānta-sūtra, and the Lord told him about devotional service that is approved by great personalities who know the Vedānta-sūtra. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then pointed out that Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the proper commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra. He then explained the catuḥ-ślokī (four ślokas) of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the essence of that great scripture.
From that day on, all the sannyāsīs of Vārāṇasī became devotees of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Before returning to His headquarters at Jagannātha Purī, the Lord advised Sanātana Gosvāmī to go to Vṛndāvana. The Lord then departed for Jagannātha Purī. Kavirāja Gosvāmī then describes something about Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanātana Gosvāmī and Subuddhi Rāya. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu returned to Jagannātha Purī through the great forest of Jhārikhaṇḍa (Jharkhand) in central India. At the end of this chapter, Kavirāja Gosvāmī sums up the incidents of the madhya-līlā and instructs every living being to read this sublime book of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s pastimes.