It was founded in 1894 at Mathura. Its first president was Seth Laxmandas Tongya of Mathura, from the famous Seth family of Mathura. It is regarded to be a traditionalist organization. Its two main branches are Dharm Sanrakshini Mahasabha and Teerth Sanrakshini Mahasabha.
In 1941, the leadership of the mahasabha was handed over by Sir Seth Hukumchand of Indore to Sir Seth Bhagchand Soni at Shravanabelagola convention. Later leaders included Seth Rajkumar Singh, Bhanvarilala Bakliwal, Raisahab Chandmal Pandya and Likhamichand Chhabra.
Dr. Rajendra Prasad, President of India was a guest of the Mahasaba on 16th April 1950.
Jain Gazette, a weekly publication of Dharm Sanrakshini Mahasabha has been published regularly for the last 103 years. It is the oldest Jain periodical.