Since Prince Siddartha (aka as Buddha) and Jesus were born respectively 2572 and and 2006 years before Twitter, they never had a chance to tweet. But since both of these historic figures were known to speak in parables and short pithy slogans, if they were around today, I'm sure they would have been naturals in the Twittersphere. As often as these two spiritual leaders were compared to each other (two brothers from different mothers), I think many of their tweets would have hailed from the same hymn book.
Keeping in mind they would have to compete with the great Twitterati celebs of the day like Ashton Kutcher and Kim Kardashian, it's hard to say who would have paled in comparison. Taking some of Twitter's accepted precepts, and adding a dash of the Golden Rule, here's how I think their historic words from on high (coming in at 140 characters or less) would have shaken down.
You are known by your followers
"Never allow yourself to envy others. For you will lose sight of the truth that way." - Buddha
"You should not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor." - Jesus
While Buddha thinks that accumulating followers is a blatant form of trying to keep up with the Joneses, Jesus quotes one of the ten commandments to warn us against wanting what others have. The continual goal of attracting 'more' followers is a form of envy that makes us seek future gratification, while running the risk of not living in the moment. So I guess neither one would be upset if they didn't have millions of followers. Did you hear that Ashton Kutcher? Challenges like the one held with Larry King last year would not work with B & J.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
"Better than a thousand senseless verses is one that brings the hearer peace'" - Buddha
"Don't cast pearls before swine." - Jesus
As we're all beginning to learn, isn't the quality of our tweets worth more than the quantity of them? One insightful tweet a day is much better than posting numerous tweets that do not add value to the world. While Buddha sees the value of this truth for both the sender and the receiver, Jesus seems to be saying that his "pearls of wisdom" need to be addressed to the right list of followers. Perhaps Jesus would be better at DM-ing versus mass tweets. (I'm just saying!)
"Consider others as yourself." - Buddha
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." - Jesus
I think both Buddha and Jesus are on the same page here and would have embraced "Follow Fridays" - the day devoted to acknowledging others for their acts of generosity and the times they retweeted your more pithy tweets!
We are known by our actions, not just what we tweet
"The one who talks of the path but never walks it is like a cowman counting cattle of others but who has none of his own," - Buddha
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged." - Jesus
It's easy to tweet about ourselves and how great we are - but it's how we actually live our lives, that's important. The purpose is not to be the buzz or create the buzz in the Twittersphere as much as it is to live a mindful co-existence in the ecosystem. Tweets that show you care about your followers as much as yourself is the type of transparency we can gain from Twitter. Buddha would say that it's fine to share accomplishments and its fine to brand ourselves, as long as we don't lose ourselves in the process. Jesus takes it a step further by warning us not to judge others unfairly, without looking internally at our own similar frailties and foibles.
Of course, it is not really that important to know whether the historical Buddha or Jesus would have used Twitter or not. What matters more is how our own inner Buddha or Jesus can use this 21st Century tool in a constructive and meaningful way. Huffington Post's, Soren Gordhamer summed it up well when he said, "the real brilliance of an empty box that allows us only 140 characters may not be in our ability to quickly share information, to stay in touch with friends, or to gain access to breaking news, but it is in what we learn about ourselves in the process, if we pay attention." Here's to paying attention!