Rama was born as the eldest son of Kausalya and Dasharatha and become the ruler of Ayodhya Kingdom. Can Rama be considered as Lord.
Yes, Sri Rama, the son of Dasharatha is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. So, he himself is the Lord.
It is mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana, Baala Kanda that all world had become sad because of Ravana. Then all Devas along with Lord Brahma prayed to Lord Vishnu. Then Lord Vishnu pleased by them and promised to take birth as the son of Dasharatha.
ततो नारायणो देवो विषुणुः नियुक्तः सुर सत्तमैः | जानन् अपि सुरान् एवम् श्लक्ष्णम् वचनम् अब्रवीत् || १-१६-१
Later when the Omnipresent Narayana is thus nominated by best gods, and though he knows the outcome, he gently spoke these words to gods in this way. [1-16-1]
उपायः को वधे तस्य राक्ष्साधिपतेः सुराः | यम् अहम् तम् समास्थाय निहन्याम् ऋषि कण्टकम् || १-१६-२
What is the idea to eliminate that demon's chief Ravana, oh, gods, adopting which stratej~n I will have to eliminate that thorn in the side of sages?" Thus Vishnu asked the gods. [1-16-2]
एवम् उक्ताः सुराः सर्वे प्रत्यूचुः विष्णुम् अव्ययम् | मानुषम् रूपम् आस्थाय रावणम् जहि संयुगे || १-१६-३
Asked thus all the gods said to that sempiternal Vishnu, "on assuming a human form, eliminate Ravana in a war." [1-16-3]
स हि तेपे तपः तीव्रम् दीर्घ कालम् अरिंदम | येन तुष्टोऽभवत् ब्रह्मा लोक कृत् लोक पूर्वजः || १-१६-४
Oh, destroyer of enemies, he that Ravana undertook a vehement ascesis for a long period, thereby the creator of worlds and the first born one Brahma, felt gladsome of his ascesis. [1-16-4]
सन्तुष्टः प्रददौ तस्मै राक्षसाय वरम् प्रभुः | नानाविधेभ्यो भूतेभ्यो भयम् न अन्यत्र मानुषात् || १-१६-५ अवज्ञाताः पुरा तेन वरदाने हि मानवाः |
Satisfied with his ascesis Brahma gave boon to that demon that he shall have no fear for his life from many kinds of beings, excepting humans, because that demon indeed slighted humans earlier at the time of bestowing boon. [1-16-5, 6a]
एवम् पितामहात् तस्मात् वरदानेन गर्वितः || १-१६-६ उत्सादयति लोकान् त्रीईन् स्त्रियः च अपि अपकर्षति | तस्मात् तस्य वधो दृष्टो मानुषेभ्यः परन्तप || १-१६-७
Thus, on getting boon from the Forefather Brahma he has become arrogant and torturing the three worlds, and he is even abducting women. As such, oh, enemy destroyer Vishnu, his elimination is envisaged through humans alone." So said gods to Vishnu. [1-16-6b, 7]
इति एतत् वचनम् श्रुत्वा सुराणाम् विष्णुः आत्मवान् | पितरम् रोचयामास तदा दशरथम् नृपम् || १-१६-८
On hearing that speech of gods said that way, he that kind-hearted Vishnu then chose Dasharatha as his father in human world. [1-16-8]
Apart from Ramayana, Rama has been mentioned in various other scriptures as the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Like SB 1.3.22
nara-devatvam āpannaḥ sura-kārya-cikīrṣayā samudra-nigrahādīni cakre vīryāṇy ataḥ param
In the eighteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as King Rāma. In order to perform some pleasing work for the demigods, He exhibited superhuman powers by controlling the Indian Ocean and then killing the atheist King Rāvaṇa, who was on the other side of the sea.
Valmiki Ramayana Ayodhya Kanda provides answer to this question. See Here
तेषामपि महातेजा रामो रतिकरः पितुः |
स्वयम्भूरिव भूतानां बभूव गुणवत्तरः || २-१-६
RaamaH = Rama; svayambhuuriva = like the Brahma;bhuutaanaaM = among all the living beings; guNavattaraH = the most virtuous; teshhaamapi = among those brothers;mahaatejaH = the mightiest; ratikaraH babhuuva = was a source of joy; pituH = for his father.
Rama, like the Brahma among all the living beings, the most virtuous among those brothers and the mightiest was a great source of joy for his father.
स हि देवै रुदीर्णस्य रावणस्य वधार्थिभिः |
अर्थितो मानुषे लोके जज्ञे विष्णुः सनातनः || २-१-७
saH = That Rama; sanaatanaH = the eternal; vishhnuH= Vishnu; jajJNehi = was born; maanushhe loke = on the earth; arthita = as urged by; devaihi = gods; vadhaarthibhihi= to kill; udiirNasya raavaNasya = the egoistic Ravana.
That Rama - was He not the eternal Vishnu who was born on earth as prayed by celestials to kill the egoistic Ravana?
Valmiki Ramayana Yuddha Kanda (Book of war) further declare that -
प्रियते सततं राम: स हि विष्णु: सनातन:|
अदिदेवो महाबाहु हरी: नारायण: प्रभु: ।।
Meaning - Above all, shree Ramachandra who is (part of) Shree Vishnu , which is sanatan. ie. Ever present. Shree Rama is Adidev , Mahabahu , Hari and literally Shree Narayana himself.
Except in Bala Kanda, Yuddha Kanda and Uttara Kanda, Sri Rama was not described as the incarnation of Vishnu. The episodes containing the eulogisation of Sri Rama as an incarnation of Vishnu are interpolated stories.
Sage Valmiki wrote the poem Ramayana, with the following purposes.
To project a role models to the world in the form of Sita and Sri Rama. Sage Valmiki described them as Humans only.
To project a Jnani like Sri Hanuman
To Project the importance of Dakshinachara, as against Vamachara
Yes, Lord rama was God. In bala kanda, ayodhya kanda, yuddha kanda and Uttara kanda divinity of Lord rama is proclaimed.
You'll find the hints of divinity throughout ramayana for example Indra hiding from rama, the sages being able to look through the divinity of Lord rama. Garuda too.
Also all the chapters are written in pre panian Sanskrit. Furthermore whole ramayana follows consistent literary rules, all chapters start with one word of gayatri if someone tries to remove any chapter, some situations stop making sense without context of Lord rama's divinity. So divinity of Lord rama is very central part of ramayana.
You don't need to believe in indologists- their atheist bias questions everything, its futile their conspiracy, their beleifs and their other speculation
It's their own biased minds. They question Jesus too, whenever it comes to religion God, their atheist bias shows, sadly they can't do it with Mahabharata because it's filled with proclaimation of divinity. So they have come up with new theories.
The dates given by westerners are nonsense, both epics are prepaninian and divine.