Bhishma's teachings on life, rule, the dharma of kings, and the yoga of self-discovery contain the essence of truth. Throughout the conversation between the new and old order, Yudhisthira proves himself to be worthy of the dialogue.
It may be argued that Bhishma is a poetical character, and therefore that his teachings are not worthy of discussion. But Bhishma's character is mythical or legendary matters little. Here we have a carefully preserved historical record of political theory from the Vedic age and its argument for raja-dharma. Close attention must be paid. While the letters of Cicero and the diary of Julius Caesar may give us some insight into Roman, even Plato's teachings do not explore the political views of Homer. Odysseus does not pause on the plains of Troy to give us his view of kings and their duty according to the ancient Greeks. And Bhishma's political, social, and spiritual views are valuable precisely because of their universality. His words have withstood centuries of analysis because they strike at the core of human life.