One more thing !

" Who are you ?"

This comes as a sub story in the chapter 8 or Uddhava Gita.

The "Supreme Being" himself appears in the form of a Swan (Hamsa avatara!!) before the Sages who were lost in a debate with Brahma about the self and its seemingly unbreakable bondage with the desires.

The sages ask the Swan –“who are you?”.

Swan being not a simple swan but the Lord himself , and Lord being the Lord the supreme soul, He quickly turns the question around ( who are you? ) to answer the basic existential dilemma.

He tells the sages that the question is meaning less if they consider the question being directed against the “self” which is same all over. Hence they cannot ask this question to the "self" in the other ( Swan)

On the other hand if it is related to the body made of five elements which are again common for both, namely the one asking the question and the one being asked, then the question loses its meaning.

As such he concludes that the question itself is a futile exercise in using some words with no meaning !! ( So they are wasting time asking such questions !!)

Actually the question rings a bell and one would recall the famous encounter of Sankara with a Chandala.

Sankara the greatest exponent of Advaita , the greatest soul of compassion encountered a Chandala moving with his dogs. Sankara tells the Chandala to “move away , move away” from his path !

Then Chandala asks him “Is it this body, built up of food that you wish to keep at a distance from that body ( of yours) which is also built up of food? Or do you wish to separate Pure Awareness which is present here( in me) from the same Awareness present there( in you) ? “

For the expounder of Advaita this must have been a moment of realization.

The greatness of Sankara is in his ability to recognize the question and correct himself in his own eloquent way . He immediately composed the “manisha panchakam”. As always Sankara's compositions are exquisite on both counts of meaning and form !

In five verses of Manisha Panchakam Adi Sankara conveys that the body is not to be confused with the self or consciousness and that any one who exhibited the awareness of this Reality was indeed the Guru and worthy of the highest respect irrespective of whether he was an out caste or a Brahmin by birth.

Advaita, the non-dualistic philosophy elaborately expounded by Sankara, does not recognize differences between people based on caste, creed, religion, gender etc since we are all the manifestations of the same Brahman.

Yes compare this with the other statement of Dvaita.

తత్వతో భేదః तत्वतो भेदः

The "Difference" is Fundamental, that is the difference between Paramatma ( Lord) and Jivaatma (our self) .

om tat sat