Lord Rama is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The worship of Lord Rama is very popular among all Hindus, as is evident by the numerous temples dedicated to him in India. In the temple images, Rama is usually shown with his faithful wife Sita, devoted brother Lakshmana, and his beloved devotee Hanuman. The life story of Rama and the main purpose of his incarnation (to destroy the demon king Ravana) is described in the great epic Ramayana. A study of the epic Ramayana reveals the following theme:
Rama represents an ideal man, as conceived by the Hindu mind. In the story of Ramayana, Rama's personality depicts him as the perfect son, devoted brother, true husband, trusted friend, ideal king, and a noble adversary.
In images and pictures, Rama is shown carrying a bow and arrow. The bow and arrow convey that Rama is always ready to destroy evil and protect righteousness. He is himself an embodiment of dharma.
Sita symbolizes an ideal daughter, wife, mother, and queen. Whereas Rama symbolizes standards of perfection that can be conceived in all the facets of a man's life, Mother Sita represents all that is great and noble in womanhood. She is revered as an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi, the divine consort of Lord Vishnu.
Lakshmana symbolizes the ideal of sacrifice. He leaves his young wife behind in the palace and chooses to accompany his brother (Rama) in exile. He sacrifices the amenities of his personal life to serve his elder brother.