The person of Bharata, the supposed author of the Natyashastra, is a widely discussed topic. Some believe that the treatise is certainly the work of one writer, while it has also been argued, for example, that he is a fictitious person and that the treatise is merely a creation of the long theatrical tradition and several compilers. This is supported by the fact that the word bharata is a synonym for “actor”. It has also been suggested that the name Bharata is an acronym for three syllables, Bha referring to the bhava or mood, Ra referring to the raga or type of melody, and Ta referring to the tala or rhythm, all of them aspects that are essential to the tradition of Indian theatre and dance.