The world was plunging into chaos. Villains, thieves and gamblers were everywhere to be seen. Men coveted that which belonged to others rather than being content with what they had or working hard for themselves. People no longer honored their parents like forms of God, but instead ridiculed them. No longer were the great teachers of the world honored, now people took advantage of them and put them to work in menial jobs. The earth suffered greatly and reverence for dharma was all but gone. With the burden of all of this suffering falling on the earth, the lack of care for the mountains, rivers and the oceans, the earth manifested in the form of a cow and with tears in her eyes cried out: “The goodness which once pervaded the entire earth is now disappearing, I am being oppressed by those beings who care for nothing but themselves. Who will help me?”
The Gods, the sages and mystics, all were powerless to her request. The forces of evil had become too strong. Brahma said, “God will help you, please have patience my child. The Lord is ever mindful of the suffering of his devotees and will relieve you of your pain.”
In an assembly of the Gods and sages, they all discussed where they could find the Lord so that they may appeal to him for help. Some suggested the heavenly abode of Krishna in Vaikuntha, others suggested the abode of Vishnu, or some other heavenly place.
Lord Shiva who was also present at the assembly said, “The Lord always manifests in response to the love and devotion which one cultivates in one’s own heart. Shri Hari is present everywhere and is revealed by love alone. Tell me any place, time, or heavenly abode where the Lord does not reside! He has even taken the form of this entire creation, both as animate beings and inanimate objects. He is completely desire-less and devoid of all ego. God is revealed by Love, just as fire is revealed from friction between two objects.”
Brahma’s eyes swelled up with love from Lord Shiva’s words which were filled with the wisdom of bhakti. The hairs on his body bristled and he fell into a state of bliss which only comes from the love of God.
Where is God when you need him? Is he to be found in a heaven? Lord Shiva explains, God is revealed by Love. God cannot be known by our minds, or even our intellects, but can only be revealed by our hearts. I think that this is one of the most beautiful passages in the Ramacharitmanas. It really carries the essential mood of bhakti yoga (the yoga of devotion).
It is for the same reason that Maharaji says that love is stronger than electricity. The heart is eternal, it is where God resides, and he is revealed by love alone. If you want to find God, it won’t be by dying and going to heaven, but you will find him by cultivating Prema (love) within your own heart.