According to many different scriptures (Vedas, Upanishads, Gita) that I have read, I am having a hard time understanding the general consensus for the path towards God-realization. Each book has a slightly different view. Is there any form of general consensus on the best past towards God-realization?
There are many paths as there are many different temperaments of people and different understandings. There is no 'one' way. All the scriptures enjoin upon you to find your teacher - your teacher is the one that knows the path that is best suited for you.
Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita (IV. 34):
Learn it by prostration, by inquiry, and by service. The wise, who have seen the Truth, will teach you that Knowledge
Sankara says in his Vivekachudmani (3.):
There are three things which are rare indeed and are due to the grace of God--namely, a human birth, the longing for Liberation, and the protecting care of a perfected sage.
If you want to realize God, find your teacher. Finding your teacher and following his advice is the general consensus in all the scriptures of Hinduism as to how to realize God.
satsangatve nissangantvam; nissangatve nirmohatvam; nirmohatve nischala tatvam; nischala tatve jeevanmuktihi \
"From the company of good people comes non-attachment, from non-attachment comes freedom from delusion, which leads to self-steadiness. From steadiness of the self comes salvation of the soul."
The best way to attain the God- realisation which i presume you mean is one attaining self-realisation is as mentioned by the great realised soul "Sri Ramana Maharishi" of Arunachala, South India is to realise your true "I". The usual "I" we are aware of and which is asking all these questions and which we identify ourselves with the gross world is a result of false identification with ego "I". Sri Ramana Maharishi quoted several times in "Talks with Ramana Maharishi" that ‘Who Am I?’ I am pure Awareness. This Awareness is by its very nature Being-Consciousness-Bliss (Sat-Chit-Ananda).However, this is not a state according to ramana maharishi which needs to be attained as all are in that state only but all that is needed from each is to trace the root of ego. Once you start the self enquiry "Who am I" and not let any other though wander in the mind you can attain the self realisation.
Each time one gets any other thought , one is required to carefully question mind "from where does this thought arise" and seek its root. This technique is very clearly mentioned in "Who Am I" a book composed by Sivaprakasham Pillai who once asked Ramana Maharishi series of questions about atma Jnana and Atma Vichara, Nature of humans and the responses are published in the book. If you can google for "ramana maharshi who am i pdf" you would get a free pdf.
Even the same is mentioned in Suta Samhita of Skanda Puranam
To conclude as mentioned by Ramana Maharishi ... " Silence is the true upadesa. It is the perfect upadesa. It is suited only for the most advanced seeker. The others are unable to draw full inspiration from it. Therefore, they require words to explain the truth. But truth is beyond words; it does not warrant explanation. All that is possible is to indicate It. How is that to be done?"
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protected by Community♦ May 10 '16 at 1:37
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