Over the past several centuries, the town of Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh has celebrated the loves of the pastoral god Kṛṣṇa and his beloved Rādhā. Numerous saints and devotional authors have contributed to the rich cultural heritage of this Hindu holy land, all doing much to strengthen its position as a centre for one of the most important streams of religious feeling in India. However, despite the theological claims of universal liberation from mundane preoccupations said to result from such religious feeling, the Vaiṣṇavism of Vrindavan shows the same susceptibility to human rivalry that can be detected in other religious movements. This rivalry takes the form of controversies which have not yet been entirely resolved. In this article and another which follows it, I undertake to address a triad of such controversies, well aware that the matters are still sensitive ones for both the parties involved: the Rādhāvallabhī followers of Hita Harivaṃśa, and the Gauḍīyas, followers of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The chief matter contested by these devotees is the authorship of a book well-loved by both sects: the Rādhārasasudhānidhi (RRSN), ascribed to Hita Harivaṃśa by his followers in the Rādhāvallabhī tradition and to Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī by the Gauḍīyas. Before treating this question, however, one is obliged to confront two others: one concerns the identity of Prabodhānanda, the second that of Hita Harivaṃśa's relation to the Gauḍīya school. Both of these personalities are claimed by each of the sects to have, at one time or another, accepted allegiance to their own group.