The Alwars (also spelled Azhwars) are a group of 12 ancient Vaishnava saints who lived in Tamil Nadu and are famous for their devotional poetry in praise of Vishnu. The collection of their 4000 poems, known as the Naalayira Divya Prabhandam, is considered by many to be the "Dravida Veda", or South Indian Veda. The Alwars are crucially important figures in the history of Vaishnavism; it's the beliefs and principles embodied in the Alwars' poems that ultimately gave rise to the Sri Vaishnava sect (of which I'm a member).
One of the Alwars was known as Thirumazhisai Alwar. He was the son of the sage Bhargava, but he was raised by tribal people and became a famous Shaivite poet, before ultimately converting to Vaishnavism. But my question is about when Thirumazhisai Alwar lived. As I discuss in this question, traditional Sri Vaishnava accounts say that Thirumazhisai Alwar, along with the first three Alwars, were all born in 4203 BC, almost a thousand years before the birth of Krishna!
Yet in this verse from his poem "Thiruchanda Virutham", Thirumazhisai Alwar says this:
Ninrathu Enthai Ooragathu Irundathu Enthai Paadagathu
Anru Vekkanaik Kidandhathu Ennilaatha Munnelaam
Anru Naan Pirandilen Pirandapin Marandilen
Ninrathum Irundhathum Kidandhathum En Nenjule
Before I was born, He was standing in Ooragam, was sitting in Paadagam and was lying down in Tiruvekka. At that time I was not born with wisdom; When once I was born with this wisdom, I never forgot. Therefore, the Lord left all those places and has taken permanent abode in my heart.
For those who don't know, Ooragam refers to the Ulagalantha Perumal Vamana temple in Kanchipuram, and Tiruvekka refers to the Yatothkari Perumal Vishnu temple in Kanchipuram, where Vishnu stopped Saraswati from destroying Brahma's Yagna.
But I'm interested in Paadagam, which refers to the Pandava Thoothar temple, again in Kanchipuram. Pandava Thoothar means "messenger of the Pandavas", and it's a gigantic statue of Krishna sitting and showing his Vishwarupa form in the court of Duryodhana, which I discuss here. The story of the temple is that when Arjuna's great-grandson Janamejaya was listening to the Mahabharata, he heard the incident of Krishna showing his Vishwarupa form to the Kauravas, and he wanted to see the Vishwarupa for himself. So he went to Kanchipuram and prayed to Vishnu, and Vishnu appeared before him in the same manner that he had appeared to the Kauravas.
So my question is, why does Thirumazhisai Alwar say that the Vishnu was sitting in Padagam before he was born, when Thirumazhisai is said to have been born nearly a thousand years before Krishna and the Pandava Thoothar statue only appeared in the time of Janamejaya?
In the rest of the verse, Thirumazhisai Alwar speaks of his symbolic birth once he attained Jnana, so is it possible that he's referring to that here too? He could have lived a long life, and he may have only attained Jnana some time after Vishnu appeared before Janamejaya. Another possibility is that he means that Vishnu has eternally resided in these places, even if he hadn't manifested in statue form yet.
Are there any commentaries which shed light on this?