yam labdhvaa chaaparam laabham manyate naadhikam tataha |
yasminsthitho na duhkhena gurunaapi vichaalyate || 22 ||

Having obtained this gain, he does consider anything superior than that, established in which he cannot be agitated by the heaviest of sorrows.

yam : that
labdhvaa : having obtained
cha : and
aparam : no other
laabham : gain
manyate : consider
na : does not
adhikam : superior
tataha : than that
yasmin : in which
sthithaha : established
na : cannot be
duhkhena : from sorrow
gurunaa : heaviest
api : even
vichaalyate : agitated by
Elaborating further on the joy attained by the perfected meditator, Shri Krishna says that once the meditator gets this joy, he does not ascribe any importance to any other joy in the world. The joy of meditation becomes paramount. Also, this joy protects the meditator from the shocks of worldly life. Having gained the joy of meditation, he does not get agitated by any sorrow whatsoever.
As we saw earlier, any joy obtained in the material world is temporary. If someone becomes a manager, he aspires to become a senior manager. Once he becomes a senior manager, he experiences joy for some time, but then he aims for a so-called larger joy: he wants to become a director. And so the cycle continues.
We continually aim for greater and greater joys. In other words, we are always planning for future enjoyment. There will never come a point in life when we can say “yes, now my life is fulfilled”. Shri Krishna says that only meditation will give sense of true fulfillment and everlasting joy, incomparable to any worldly joy that we have experienced. Any worldly joy will pale in comparison to this joy. When one wins a lottery that pays millions, one does not go seeking pennies.
Next, Shri Krishna says that the person who becomes established in this joy of meditation is shielded from the impact of the most troublesome sorrows. Now, attainment of the joy in meditation does not mean that magically, all our sorrows will vanish. Till our human body exists, joy and sorrow will exist as well. But meditation will give us an armour that will protect us from all worldly sorrows. The inner strength provided by meditation will make us “shock proof”.
Let us imagine that we hear extremely disturbing news. What is our reaction typically? Our mind generates thoughts at a breakneck speed. If the sorrow is about a loss of a person, the storehouse of the mind (chitta) generates anxiety-ridded thoughts about the future (what will I do now, how will I survive, how will I adapt etc), memories of the past (it was so nice back in the day when I knew this person), and regrets (I should have done this). These are just a sample of the thousands of thoughts that the mind generates when learning of a disturbing event. For most of us, these thoughts destabilize us. But the meditator’s mind has become “set” in the eternal essence, it never loses its stability.
However, wee have to be careful before we give so much credit to the practice of meditation. Plain meditation without understanding, in other words, meditation without learning the content of the Gita thus far, does not give us this result. But if our intellect has diligently studied about the eternal essence – that it is beyond birth and death, that it is changeless, that it cannot be destroyed and so on – and our mind has become established in the eternal essence through meditation, the multitude of thoughts that hit our mind fail to destabilize us. We become like a rock that remains steady in a storm, not the tree that gets uprooted.
So therefore, meditation gives us the best of both worlds. It gives us joy independent of any future sorrow, and also protects us from the impact of heavy sorrows. In the next shloka, Shri Krishna concludes the sub-topic of the joy of meditation