'Give up what you are' makes sense.
If you give up what you are, you are giving up your identity. The little stream is being asked to renounce his essential 'streamness' (!) , and he couldn't accept this.
If you 'give up on' something, it means that you stop trying because you realise that it's pointless. This would not be the right phrase to use here. "You can't stop being what you are" would work, though.