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The story has been told of how early in the career of the sage Narada, he was continuously having one type of worry after another. Now, Narada had learned quite a few things. He was a master of all 64 types of learning and had practiced all 64 human skills; and yet he felt no inner peace. He began thinking to himself, 'What is the reason for all this worry, this lack of peace that I am feeling? I have mastered all types of learning, I understand all fields of human knowledge; still, I have not been able to remove my sorrow.' He went to a great sage and asked him to explain the reason for his worries and lack of peace.

The first thing the sage asked Narada was, "What are your qualifications?" Narada replied, "I have learned and mastered every type of education; there is no field of human knowledge which I have not learned." The sage then said, "Well, that is very good. Then you must have learned the knowledge of the self?" Narada replied, "No, except for self-knowledge I have had every kind of education." The sage told Narada, "You can get peace of mind only with the knowledge of the atma. Only when you have learned that supreme knowledge by which you will know everything else, can you be called educated. Otherwise, you remain ignorant, no matter how many fields you have mastered. What is the use of learning so many things without understanding the one thing which is truly essential?"