Rama means the One who delights. He is also known as Ramachandra, Raghu, Sethu, Raghava, Sita Pathe, Sitaram, and Janakiram.
Lord Rama (var. Ram) is regarded as the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Rama is the symbol of courtesy and virtue, a man of values and morals.
Rama is also known as Maryada Purushottama, which means the perfect man. Rama is an example of idealism; he has been the ideal man, the ideal son, the ideal brother and the ideal husband.
Rama took birth on this earth (along with his brothers Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugna) with the aim of eradicating the wicked forces of the age, personified by Ravana, the ruler of Lanka.
The Ram Naam (Name of Rama) in itself is a divine mantra or prayer. It is believed that chanting the name “Ram” helps one to attain salvation.
The Mantra of Sri Ram forms the part of prayers offered to the Lord. Lord Rama Mantra / Ram Mantra is as follows: Om Sri Rama Jaya Rama, Jaya, Jaya Rama.
Rama is not to be identified as the hero of the Ramayana, the Divine offspring of Emperor Dasaratha. He was named Rama by the court Preceptor because it was a name already in current use.
Sage Vashishta, the preceptor, said that he had chosen that name since it meant He who pleases. The Atma (soul) that confers bliss is also known as Rama.
Atma and Atmarama mean one and the same. The name Rama symbolises the universal attributes of the Divine such as omniscience, omnipotence and omnifelicity.
It is often said that Rama followed Dharma at all times. This is not the correct way of describing him. He did not follow Dharma, He was Dharma. What he thought, spoke and did was Dharma, it is the Dharma forever.
Rama is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who took form to eradicate evil and re-establish dharma, an avataric task called dharmasamstaphana.
The essence of the religion of the Bharatiyas as proclaimed in the Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana Vedas is the attainment of the unity of the individual with the Divine by the recognition of the inherent divinity.
The Avatars come to teach humanity this principle of oneness so that they may get rid of the idea of diversity and manifest their inherent divinity, realising their basic spiritual nature.
Rama was an ideal friend. There cannot be a greater friend than Rama. There are in the world fair weather friends who display their friendship when one is wealthy or wielding power.
But if wealth and position are gone, not a single friend will show his face. Rama, however, was not such a friend. He was loving, considerate, and affectionate equally in weal or woe, in times of joy or sorrow.
Guha was an ordinary boatman. Rama hailed him as his fourth brother and showered his love on Guha. In the same friendly spirit, Rama treated everyone who came to him for help or to find asylum.
Thus he stood out to the world as an ideal friend.