When this tendency begin to break, when it is Nivṛtti, or "going away from," then begin morality and religion. … Nivṛtti is the fundamental basis of all morality and all religion, and the very perfection of it is entire self-abnegation, readiness to sacrifice mind and body and everything for another being. When we reach that state, we have attained to the perfection of Karma Yoga.
Here are two Sanskrit words: Pravṛtti, which means revolving towards, and the other is Nivṛtti, which means revolving away. The "revolving towards" is what we call the world, the "I and mine"; it includes all those things which are always enriching that "me" by wealth and money and power, and name and fame, and which are of a grasping nature, always tending to accumulate everything in one center, that center being "myself." That is the Pravṛtti, the natural tendency of every human being; taking everything from everywhere and heaping it around one center, that center being our own sweet self.
Class on Karma Yoga. New York, January 3, 1896. Complete Works, 1.85-86.