In a Hindu mythology trivia quiz written by Devdutt Pattanaik on the app QuizUp, the following question was asked:

What name did Brahma give to King Nemi for his capability of driving his chariot to ten points at the same time?

The correct answer is given as Dasharatha, which makes sense considering that Dasha means 10 and Ratha means chariot. But my question is, is it true that Dasharatha's original name was Nemi, and that he was given the name Dasharatha by Brahma?

This book makes at least the Nemi claim:

Nemi, son of Ajan, a famous King in the genealogical line of Surya kings, reigned over Kosala kingdom with capital at Ayodhya. King Nemi was assigned the title Dasaratha for his ability to wage war simultaneously at ten battlefronts through the swift movement of his chariot.

But do any scriptures give Dasharatha's original name as Nemi, and is there a scriptural basis for the Brahma part?

I'm pretty sure the Valmiki Ramayana doesn't mention any of this, but is it possible that it's mentioned in some Purana?

  • This book (part 2) is supposed to explain 'Why & how Nemi earned the name Dasaratha'. Not sure if the author left any references to support. – sv. Mar 2 '16 at 23:22
  • @sv. Yeah, I saw that book on Google Books when I searched for Nemi, but that's just a novel based on the Ramayana, similar to Ashok K. Banker's Ramayana novels, so it's not a reliable source of information. – Keshav Srinivasan Mar 2 '16 at 23:27
  • @sv. In any case, the book claims that Dasharatha was given his name by the gods due to his battle against the demon Shambara, which I discuss in my question here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/3820/36 – Keshav Srinivasan Mar 2 '16 at 23:36
  • Oh, interesting, so there could be some truth to it. btw, those questions in QuizUp 'Devlok' were composed by 'Devdutt Pattanaik' :-) – sv. Mar 2 '16 at 23:44
  • @sv. Oh, Devdutt Pattanaik's books take a great deal of creative license, so if he's the source of the claim then it's quite possibly completely incorrect. In any case, the Ayodhya Kanda of the Ramayaha doesn't mention Shambara multiplying himself by ten or the gods giving Dasharatha some title after he helped them defeat Shambara, but perhaps other scriptures give more detail on the battle. – Keshav Srinivasan Mar 3 '16 at 3:17

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