The god Vishnu maintains order in the cosmos and descends from the celestial realm when chaos and injustice have disrupted life on earth. According to most Hindu traditions, Vishnu has ten avataras (Sanskrit, “descent”), and he assumes a different human or part-animal form in each. Rama—the epitome of the perfect son, brother, husband, and king—is one of the avataras. He is recognized as a deity in his own right as is Krishna, another of the avataras.
The ten avataras of Vishnu often appear together in religious imagery. Here Rama is the second figure from the left.
(Exhibition Label from The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe)