Thou art both gross and subtle,
Thou art terrible and a great power,
Thou removest all great sins,
O Mahalakshmi obeisance to Thee.

Both gross and subtle indicates that Dea manifests herself in both “gross” (bodily) form and in Her subtle (formless) state. She rules both the material world and all the subtle degrees of manifestation.

The word terrible (perhaps confusing because of its colloquial usage) is also applied to the Christian vision of Deity. It indicates the “holy terror” felt by lesser beings when confronted with the awesome majesty of supreme Deity. The Devi Gita describes the awe and terror felt by the angels when faced with Dea in Her unmodified majesty; whereupon She graciously showed Herself in Her beautiful feminine form in order to reassure and comfort them.

For the full hymn and commentary:
The Great Hymn to Mahalakshmi

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