Sthāṇu means steady. In the present context it means the One without modification. The Brahman is without out modifications. The previous nāma said that He is the Brahman and this nāma says that He is the one without modifications, referring to nirguṇa Brahman or the Brahman without attributes. Only the Brahman without attributes is pure and beyond modifications.
Kṛṣṇa while explaining the qualities of soul says, “sthāṇuḥacalaḥsanātanaḥ” which means ‘immovable (sthāṇuḥ), constant and everlasting’ (Bhagavad Gita II.24). The individual soul educes the quality of the Supreme Soul.
२८. ॐ स्थाणवे नमः।
28. Om Sthanuvey namah
Sthanu He who is stable!
Sthaanuh: -Generally this term Sthaanuh is used for the permanent pillars that mark the frontiers of a country. They are permanent, immovable, fixed. The Truth, that remains thus firm and motionless, without movement, permanently established in Its own Realm of Purity, is called by the term Sthaanuh-the Pillar. Eternal, Sthanu He who is stable , All-Pervading, the Pillar, Motionless (is) this Ancient One,” so says Geeta Ch. 2, 24.
acchedyo ‘yam adahyo ‘yam
akledyo ‘sosyaeva ca
acalo ‘yam sanatanah
acchedyah—unbreakable; ayam—this soul; adahyah—cannot be burned; ayam—this soul; akledyah—insoluble; asosyah—cannot be dried; eva—certainly; ca—and; nityah—everlasting; sarva-gatah—all-pervading; sthanuh—unchangeable; acalah—immovable; ayam—this soul; sanatanah—eternally the same.
This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble, and can be neither burned nor dried. He is everlasting, all-pervading, unchangeable, immovable and eternally the same.
All these qualifications of the atomic soul definitely prove that the individual soul is eternally the atomic particle of the spirit whole, and he remains the same atom eternally, without change. The theory of monism is very difficult to apply in this case, because the individual soul is never expected to become one homogeneously. After liberation from material contamination, the atomic soul may prefer to remain as a spiritual spark in the effulgent rays of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but the intelligent souls enter into the spiritual planets to associate with the Personality of Godhead.
The word sarva-gatah (all-pervading) is significant because there is no doubt that living entities are all over God’s creation. They live on the land, in the water, in the air, within the earth and even within fire. The belief that they are sterilized in fire is not acceptable, because it is clearly stated here that the soul cannot be burned by fire. Therefore, there is no doubt that there are living entities also in the sun planet with suitable bodies to live there. If the sun globe is uninhabited, then the word sarva-gatah—living everywhere—becomes meaningless.
INTERPRETATION GUIDED BY SANT VANI (WORDS OF SAINTS)
The one who is firm, immovable.
Because He is sthira, firm. He is called Sthāṇu. Since He is all pervasive, there is no place, to which He can move. We think our bodies are solid. Physicists will say we are just bundles of energy. Our minds are also subject to changing moods, emotions, positions. We like to hold on to a notion of permanence and look for that which is unchanging and firm. The entire world is always moving and it moves on the Sthāṇu who is like an anvil that does not move. He does not undergo any change, but allows all the changes to take place. Changes can take place only with names and forms. But, being the adhiṣṭhāna, He does not undergo any change. The basis, on which change can take place, is always the changeless. Even the goldsmith uses an anvil on which metals are bent into shape.
The Lord does not undergo any change, but as the sākṣhi becomes the witness of everything. This is His nirākāra aspect.
He who is firm, unshakable, unmovable, changeless, resolute, and steady, that ‘firmly-fixed’ beginning/origin/source of all beings…that great ascetic of all ascetics…
Both Śaṅkara and ParāsaraBattar give only the standard meanings/definitions of the name/word as detailed above with minor variations. While Śaṅkara gives it the meaning of “that supreme being who is firm, unshakable, unmovable, and changeless”, Parāshara in needing to stick to only Viṣhṇu gives the meaning of the name as “He who is firm in blessing devotees and bestowing auspiciousness“
I have however consistently felt that when a more detailed and nuanced interpretation of the name is possible, then I have chosen to go with that, primarily born out of the firm belief in the absolute abheda‘ (non-difference) between Śhiva and Viṣhṇu.
Sthāṇu (स्थाणु) is a synonym for stambha – a column or pillar. Even in temples in the three types of murti-sthapana “Sthānaka” refers to the deity that is standing, the other two forms being āsinā (sitting) and śayanā (reclining/resting). One can see that at Tirumala, Bālājī is Sthānaka (a standing Swayambhu murti) while as Ranganatha at Sri Rangam or Srirangapattana, he is in śayanā.
Linga plus udhbhava – He appeared as a column of light when Shree Hari searched for him as the divine boar and Bramha as a swan (visible in this pic).
Worshipping the lingodhbhava form can relieve one of ghastly karmas born out of transactions in the ever changing world.
Tiruvanamalai mountain dates back to times when the earth was a volcano and is associated with the column of fire…Namah Parvati pataye Hara Hara Mahadeva.
This name is connected to the previous name Śiva as it is Śiva who manifested as the great “anala-stambha” – the endless pillar of supreme-light that neither Viṣṇu (in the form of the boar) nor Brahmā (in the form of the Swan) could measure or find the beginning or the end – fixed firmly as it was both deep within the ground reaching unfathomable depths and stretching endlessly into infinite space above…
Connecting the previous name (Śiva) to this name (Sthāṇu) you get: “Śiva-Sthāṇu” – the “supremely auspicious one who is resolute and unshakable” Hari as Hara is the symbol of “resolute-auspiciousness”
Śiva is the epitome of resoluteness and the greatest symbol of his “resolute -auspiciousness” that one can connect to, is the hill of Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai. Derived from the root अचल (achala) it literally means “unmovable” and the sthala-purana also states that it was at this very place that the endless column of fire manifested itself and then it is that column of fire that is the red-mountain that stands today (Arun-achala).
Ramana says this in his translation of the Arunachala Mahatmyam:
“Arunachala is truly the holy place. Of all holy places it is the most sacred! Know that it is the heart of the world. It is truly Siva himself! It is his heart-abode, a secret kshetra. In that place the Lord ever abides the hill of light named Arunachala.”
Hari is indeed Harā and Śaṅkara is indeed Nārāyaṇa – Hariharā and Śaṅkaranārāyaṇa are indeed one and the same…
He who is firm, unshakable, unmovable, changeless, resolute, and steady, that ‘firmly-fixed’ beginning/origin/source of all beings…that great ascetic of all ascetics.
In the verses of Bhaj Govindam, Adi Shankaracharya tells us how everything in this material world is transitory and changing. The only unchanging reality is the supreme Brahman and it is only by being firmly established like a pillar (Sthanuh) in Bhakti and Faith based on sturdy knowledge of the true Self can you merge and dissolve into that non changing supreme divinity.